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Winter 1998 



Historical Magazine 

Founded 1844 
Dennis A. Fiori, Director 

The Maryland Historical Magazine 

Robert I. Cottom, Editor 
Donna B. Shear, Managing Editor 
Patricia Dockman Anderson, Associate Editor 
David Prencipe, Photographer 

Robin Donaldson Coblentz, Christopher T. George, Jane Cushing Lange, Mary Markey, an 
Robert W. Schoeberlein, Editorial Associates 

Regional Editors 

John B. Wiseman, Frostburg State University 

Jane C. Sween, Montgomery County Historical Society 

Pegram Johnson III, Accoceek, Maryland 

Acting as an editorial board, the Publications Committee of the Maryland Historical Society 
oversees and supports the magazine staff. Members of the committee are: 

John W. Mitchell, Upper Marlboro; Trustee/Chair 

John S. Bainbridge Jr., Baltimore County 

Jean H. Baker, Goucher College 

James H. Bready, Baltimore Sun 

Robert J. Brugger.The Johns Hopkins University Press 

Lois Green Carr, St. Mary's City Commission 

Suzanne E. Chapelle, Morgan State University 

Toby L. Ditz, The Johns Hopkins University 

Dennis A. Fiori, Maryland Historical Society, ex-officio 

David G. Fogle, University of Maryland 

Jack G. Goellner, Baltimore 

Roland C. McConnell, Morgan State University 

Norvell E. Miller III, Baltimore 

Charles W.Mitchell, Williams &Wilkins 

Richard Striner, Washington College 

John G. Van Osdell, Towson University 

Alan R.Walden.WBAL, Baltimore 

Brian Weese, Bibelot, Inc., Pikesville 

Members Emeritus 

John Higham.The Johns Hopkins University 
Samuel Hopkins, Baltimore 
Charles McC. Mathias, Chevy Chase 

ISSN 0025-4258 

© 1998 by the Maryland Historical Society. Published as a benefit of membership in the Maryland 
Historical Society in March, June, September, and December. Articles appearing in this journal are 
abstracted and indexed in Historical Abstracts and/or America: History and Life. Periodicals postage paid 
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Maryland Historical Society, 201 West Monument Street, Baltimore, Maryland 2I20I. Composed by 
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M A R Y L A N -Breceived 

MAR 1 1999 

Historical Magazine 

VOLUME 93, 4 (WINTER 1998) 



From Poor Relief to the Poorhouse: The Response to Poverty in Prince George's 

County, Maryland, 1710-1770 393 


The Cigar Boat: Ross Winans's Maritime Wonder 429 


"Intelligence Though Overlooked": Education for Black Women in the Upper 

South, 1800-1840 443 


Portfolio 467 

The Guns of St. Mary's 477 


Book Reviews 497 

Rountree and Davidson, Eastern Shore Indians of Virginia and Maryland, by Stewart Rafert 
Sarudy, Gardens and Gardening in the Chesapeake, 1 700-1 805, by Lynne Dakin Hastings 
Greenberg, Cause for Alarm: The Volunteer Fire Department in the Nineteenth-Century City, 

by Roderick N. Ryon 
Farrar, The Baltimore Afro-American, 1892-1950, by Debra Newman Ham 
Grimsted, American Mobbing, 1 828-1861 : Toward Civil War, by Jean H. Baker 
Pitch, The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814, by Henry C. Peden, Jr. 
Heyrman, Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt, by Donna Blair Shear 
Hanson, Necessary Virtue: The Pragmatic Origins of Religious Liberty in New England, by 


Books in Brief 516 

Notices 517 

Maryland Picture Puzzle 518 

Index to Volume 93 519 

Cover: Charleston-born artist Gabrielle de Vaux Clements (1858-1949) studied at Cornell 
University, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts in Philadelphia, and the Julian Studio in Paris 
and later taught at the Bryn Mawr School for girls in Baltimore. Primarily a muralist, Miss 
Clements and her friend, Ellen D. Hale, leased an apartment in Baltimore one winter in the late 
1920s and created a series of etchings that included this Mount Vernon Scene. 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Maryland, 1 795, by Samuel Lewis. The rapidly growing population of Prince George's County forced 
the legislature to create Frederick County from its western lands in 1 749. The division left large numbers 
of the poor, elderly, and infirm in Prince Georges, adding to that county's social burden. (Maryland 
Historical Society.) 


From Poor Relief to the Poorhouse: 
The Response to Poverty in 
Prince George s County, Maryland, 

In 1671 the Maryland legislature empowered justices of the county courts to 
levy a tax to provide relief to poor residents. Though many counties had 
begun distributing poor relief allowances during the previous decade, 1 this 
act formally laid out the method of poor relief that courts throughout the colony 
would utilize for the next hundred years. By examining the people who received 
relief and the mechanism designed to administer it, this study explores the emer- 
gence of Maryland's poor relief system during the eighteenth century, as well as 
the factors that, by 1770, forced many counties to abandon the traditional sys- 
tem in favor of a new approach to handling the poor through almshouses and 

The system of outdoor relief founded in 1671 effectively provided for the 
poor in Maryland for nearly a century. Because the poor remained small in 
number throughout much of this period, the system did not need to be elabo- 
rate or extensive in order to reach needy members of the community. In fact, 
with a minimal number of petitioners going before the court each year, close 
interaction between those seeking financial assistance and the justices entrusted 
with the responsibility of distributing funds was inevitable. As I will suggest, the 
requirement that people directly petition the court had shortcomings and might 
have been a stigmatizing prospect for some. In no way, however, did the poor 
relief system attempt to humiliate or marginalize the poor. To the contrary, the 
system complemented the values of the community by providing a mechanism 
for identifying the most destitute and providing them with pensions they could 
use to continue living their lives in the way they deemed best. 

A dramatic series of transformations that manifested themselves in the early 
1760s rapidly undermined the effectiveness of the traditional poor relief sys- 
tem, leading to the widespread use of poorhouses. One change was the gradual 
increase in population that forced the relief system to evaluate the petitions of 

Mr. Calo is a graduate student in American history at the University of Pennsylvania. 
This paper won the undergraduate essay contest in 1997 when the author was a stu- 
dent at the Johns Hopkins University. 




Maryland Historical Magazine 

more people. An even more significant development was the tremendous growth 
in pensioners who received relief for long periods of time. This decreased the 
turnover rate, forcing the poor relief system to support more pensioners at a 
high cost. At the same time these internal changes were taking place, broad so- 
cial and economic trends were limiting opportunities for financial advance- 
ment and also creating a class of landless vagrants who roamed throughout the 
colony looking for a means of survival. County leaders viewed vagrants as a 
troublesome and threatening group. However, because able-bodied beggars were 
not eligible for public relief, no means existed to control or provide for them 
effectively. As a result, many counties began to petition the legislature for the 
right to construct workhouses that could confine beggars and provide a way for 
them to support themselves through labor. With poorhouses and workhouses 
designed both to confine the able-bodied and to provide for the deserving poor, 
a noticeable transition in attitudes towards poverty emerged. Whereas the old 
system of relief treated poverty as a pitiable condition worthy of public sup- 
port, workhouses and poorhouses encouraged the community to view the poor 
as shameful and bothersome people who had to be set apart from the rest of 
society. When determining how to address peoples' financial needs and circum- 
stances, counties no longer considered seriously the once pivotal distinctions 
between the deserving and undeserving poor. 

Though this work utilizes sources from throughout Maryland, it relies pri- 
marily on records from Prince George's County that extensively detail the op- 
eration of the poor relief system. In addition, the county's social diversity makes 
it an ideal point of focus. With a population comprising a variety of people — 
rich and poor, landowners and tenants, slaveowners and nonslaveowners, An- 
glicans, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics — Prince George's was something 
of an eighteenth-century Maryland in miniature. 

The Operation of Public Poor Relief in Prince George's County 

Though the objectives were similar, Maryland's poor relief system differed 
from those in England and elsewhere in the American colonies because of its 
modest size and exclusive use of the courts instead of the church. Unlike Vir- 
ginia, for example, which organized its poor relief system at the parish level, 
Maryland counties uniformly used the courts as the sole mechanism for ad- 
ministering public relief and gave tax-supported parishes no official role in car- 
ing for the needy. The courts, however, had not always been the sole provider of 
public poor relief in Maryland. During the later years of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, many parishes were involved in providing for young orphans, and for a 
time, both Charles and Somerset Counties experimented with granting par- 
ishes significant poor relief responsibilities. The initiatives in Charles and 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 



Passed by The General Assembly of The Province of 
Maryland, 1694-1728 (Not Previously Printed) 

An Additionall Act to the Act of Religion. 

Be it Enacted by the King and Queens most Excellent Maj ties by 
and with the advice and Consent of this present Generall Assembly 
and the authority of the same that in every respective Parish within 
this Province whereunto any Minister is or shall hereafter be ap- 
pointed by his Excell cy the Governour of this Province for the tyme 
being such Minister as aforesaid shall be added to the Vestry of that 
Parish as one of the vestrymen thereof, and if any of the vestrymen 
of that Parish as aforesaid shall not appear att the tyme and place 
when and where such Vestry shall be held, he or they so omitting 
their duty as aforesaid shall be fyned by such and so many of the 
said Vestry as shall be mett att the tyme and place appointed accord- 
ing to their discretion not exceeding the sume of one hundred pounds 
of Tobaccoe (the Minister only excepted) to be imployed towards 
the use of the Poore Which said Fyne shall be recovered by the Vestry 
in the County Courts where such person or persons shall reside by 
Bill Plaint or Informacon wherein noe Essoyne Proteccon or wager 
□f Law to be allowed : 

The 1692 Act for Religion provided for the care of the colony's "worthy poor." (Maryland State 
Archives. ) 

Somerset were derived from a provision in the 1692 Act for Religion that allowed 
parishes to use for poor relief the revenue raised from fining individuals for break- 
ing the Sabbath. With revenue situated in the parishes, the church was seemingly 
an ideal vehicle for distributing payments to the poor. These arrangements, though, 
quickly proved to be inadequate, and soon after the turn of the century county 
courts across the colony assumed total control of the poor relief system. This 
transition may be explained by the fact that most parishes, still in the initial stages 
of development, were preoccupied with finding ministers, selecting vestries and 
churchwardens, and building churches. Because such parishes lacked the capacity 
to handle efficiently the burden of dealing with the poor, it proved more expedient 
to have the administratively stable courts handle it. 2 

As with the English poor laws, Maryland's relief system was designed to pro- 
vide the necessities of life only to those indigent people whom society deemed 
deserving of assistance — children, the elderly, and the sick. 3 Unlike the highly 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

complex system that evolved in England, however, the relief system in Maryland 
accomplished this objective without having to rely on an elaborate set of arrange- 
ments. Because Maryland had both a small population and a small number of 
poor, the colony's relief system was a simple one, thus permitting counties to run 
poor relief operations entirely through the courts. The simplicity of the process 
made it possible for anyone interested in obtaining relief simply to present a peti- 
tion at one of the court's sessions in March, June, August, or November. 

While the process of petitioning for relief was simple, it could nevertheless be 
a trying experience. Because there were no established criteria for determining 
who was eligible for relief, the justices alone had authority to rule if a petitioner 
was sufficiently in need to collect a pension. Petitioners, therefore, had to convince 
the court that their situation warranted public assistance. No doubt, this arrange- 
ment encouraged some petitioners to embellish their testimonies in order to em- 
phasize the desperateness of their situation. Allan Kulikoff, however, overstates 
the point in writing that people seeking aid had to"debase themselves ... by relat- 
ing tales of woe in the most servile manner." 4 Considering that in a small-sized 
community like Prince George's the justices knew many of the people who came 
before the court, it is doubtful that petitioners typically had to act in an exagger- 
atedly obsequious manner to persuade the court of their need. 

Because only the court had authority to determine if a petitioner should re- 
ceive relief, the justices did not have to defend their decision when they rejected a 
request for assistance. For petitioners who failed to persuade the justices of their 
need for support, the court records list only the petitioner's name, a brief descrip- 
tion of his or her circumstances, and the word "Rejected." These individuals had to 
find an alternate means of subsistence until the following court session, when they 
could again seek public relief from the county. 

For those petitioners who were able to convince the justices to provide them 
with support, relief could come in several forms. The most common practice 
was to give the petitioner a block sum of currency that the court based on the 
effectiveness of the petition, the testimonies of family members and friends, the 
amount of previous relief payments, and the perceived needs of the petitioner. 5 
The amount of these payments was not standardized and differed widely among 
recipients. Some pensions the court provided were rather sizeable; in other cases 
they were hardly sufficient to provide even the most basic necessities of life. The 
court records, in fact, detail numerous occasions in which pensioners returned 
to the court several months after receiving their annual payment to contend 
that the amount was inadequate. After considering the pensioner's argument, 
the justices not uncommonly conceded that the existing allowance was insuffi- 
cient and adjusted the payment accordingly. One such incident occurred when 
Thomas Bushnell, who received a pension of two hundred pounds of tobacco in 
early 1 730, returned to the court in November claiming that the sum was so small 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


that he could not "live on it." Upon hearing his petition, the court increased his 
payment to five hundred pounds of tobacco. 6 

In most instances, pensioners determined for themselves how to use their 
relief payment. Based on their needs and circumstances, people could choose to 
spend it on food, clothing, medicine, or shelter. In other situations, however, the 
court designated poor relief funds for a specific use, the most common of which 
was medical care. Though the number of destitute individuals who received 
medical attention was small, those who did require help from a doctor were 
often very ill or disabled, making their treatments extensive and costly. Because 
such people could not afford to pay for treatment, counties arranged to have 
one or two doctors available to provide medical care at the public's expense. 
These doctors worked for the county and were responsible for tending to all 
patients for whom the court authorized publicly funded medical support. The 
county's doctors did not receive a flat salary for their work; rather, the court 
reimbursed them at each session for all of the expenses they incurred while 
caring for patients who received poor relief. Between 1710 and 1768, only once 
did the Prince George's court not use official county doctors to care for a pa- 
tient. In this case, according to the 1741 tax levy, the county offered nine thou- 
sand pounds of tobacco, a large amount totaling 20 percent of the entire poor 
relief budget for that year, "to anyone who will undertake the cure of Mary 
Kennett." 7 Most likely, the justices only resorted to such drastic measures when 
they had an extremely ill patient who required extensive care and attention be- 
yond what the county doctors had the time or skill to handle. 

While most expenditures marked for a pre-determined purpose covered 
medical care, petitioners sometimes requested personalized forms of relief tai- 
lored specifically to their needs. One such incident occurred when Matthew 
Farrel, who claimed to have "had the misfortune of breaking his thigh which 
has so much disabled him that he cannot walk about to pursue his trade," asked 
the court to provide him with money to purchase a horse so he could more 
easily transport himself. 8 The justices rejected this request, but they were not 
always disinclined towards the idea of using poor relief funds to accommodate 
special circumstances. William Needham, for example, was a blind man who 
had "taken lately a journey into the springs upwards in Virginia and . . . received 
some small comfort there from concerning my sight which for many years I 
have lost," but "being poor and miserable and no man to help me was forced to 
return without a complete cure." Convinced that another trip to the springs 
could, "by the blessing of God," cure him of his malady, Needham in 1 746 asked 
the court to grant him enough funding to return. The court honored Needham's 
request, probably hoping that by recovering his sight he would no longer need 
to rely on the county for support, as he had done since 1735. The court records 
of 1747, though, reveal that Needham's second journey to the therapeutic springs 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

brought "little help," and left him no alternative but to continue depending on an 
annual pension until his death in 1749. 9 

As with those petitioners who requested aid for a specific need, providing 
for county dependents who were particularly old or disabled often required more 
than simply granting a pension they could use for any general purpose. Because 
these people tended to be incapacitated in ways that left them unable to handle 
the demands of everyday life, they required constant supervision and assistance. 
To provide for pensioners in these situations, the court typically relied on a 
procedure called assigning, in which the court placed the pensioner in a private 
home where the owner could act as custodian. 10 The court provided the person 
who assumed this responsibility with a block sum of money to cover all ex- 
penses associated with housing, feeding, clothing, and meeting the medical needs 
of the indigent border. The percentage of poor relief recipients the court as- 
signed varied from year to year, ranging from 21 to 48 percent. Despite the fluc- 
tuation, as long as the number of people requiring this type of supervised assis- 
tance did not become too burdensome, the practice of assigning to private homes 
provided a relatively simple and economically efficient way to meet the needs of 
the most destitute." Though it was more expensive for Prince George's County 
to assign a poor relief recipient than to provide her or him with a pension, the 
added cost was an effective way for the county to provide for the most depen- 
dent segments of its population. 

While the court was typically responsible for assigning people, poor relief 
recipients sometimes also assumed the responsibility of finding someone to care 
for them. Edward Willoughbey, for example, told the court in November 1756 
that he had been "very old and ... for many years . . . unable to maintain" 
himself and also, having lost a "foot by frost," was "often lame for many days 
together" and asked whether the court would "be pleased to allow such a pen- 
sionary subsistence to maintain [myself] in indigence, age and lameness as may 
induce some hospitable person to entertain [me] during the remains of com- 
fortable life." 12 Elizabeth Linton and Joan Bishop made similar remarks when 
they petitioned the court in 1750. Linton contended that "she doubts the allow- 
ance you were pleased to make last year, will not induce any person to take care 
of [me]," 13 while Bishop maintained that "your worships have been pleased to 
deem your petitioner an object of publick compassion and grant [me] a pen- 
sion ... for many years . . .and therefore [I pray] that your worships will make 
some addition to the said allowance and such as may induce some hospitable 
person to entertain [me] ."' 4 The statements of Willoughbey, Linton, and Bishop 
indicate that needy pensioners could not always depend on the court to assign 
them, but rather in some cases, had to find someone who was willing to provide 
the necessary services in return for their poor relief allowance. Finding a care- 
taker apart from the court, however, was quite difficult. Unless a poor relief recipi- 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


ent had family or friends who could provide lodging and assistance, few commu- 
nity residents were willing to risk losing money by taking in an indigent whose 
pension might not adequately compensate them for high maintenance costs. Poor 
relief recipients needed a relatively large pension to "induce" someone to take them 
into their home and provide care. 

Why the court assigned some people to private homes and not others is not 
always evident. No doubt, certain decisions, which in retrospect appear capri- 
cious and cold-hearted, were actually based on a clear evaluation of the pen- 
sioners' needs and the court's resources. Whether this was the case with 
Willoughbey, Linton, and Bishop cannot be determined from the records. How- 
ever, examining the court's assignment procedure provides a greater understand- 
ing of why the poor relief system did not permit all qualified individuals to be 
placed into a private home. Such an analysis demonstrates that while the court 
had the power to influence who was assigned, the interplay of several other 
factors made their authority over this process far from absolute. 

Available records indicate that the court used an auction-like procedure to 
place poor relief recipients with caretakers. This auctioning system did not in- 
volve multiple people vying for the right to care for a particular pensioner, but 
it undoubtedly involved discussion between the court and potential caretakers 
about how much compensation the court should provide. Decisions about the 
rate of payment were critical for both parties. Because the justices had limited 
resources with which to work, they had to exercise prudence in determining 
how many pensioners they could assign and how much money could be allo- 
cated for them. Receiving adequate payment was equally important for the care- 
takers, primarily so they could be certain to cover all expenses involved in car- 
ing for an indigent boarder, but also because acting as a caretaker was poten- 
tially a lucrative endeavor. Despite the potential for profit, people of lesser fi- 
nancial means did not become actively involved in caring for assigned indi- 
viduals, largely because the possible monetary gain did not adequately com- 
pensate them for the time and energy needed to supervise carefully a sick or 
elderly individual. On numerous occasions people of modest means requested 
funding from the court to assist in the care of a sick or aged friend or family 
member. Many pensioners who were with a caretaker, however, did not have the 
opportunity to be in the home of relatives or close friends. Rather, year after 
year, caretakers were made up of well-to-do citizens who had the resources, ser- 
vants, and free time to care for indigents. While these wealthy caretakers pro- 
vided an important service to the community, the motivation of many appears 
not to have been a strong sense of civic duty but the desire for profit. 

Because clerks sometimes recorded only the assignment of a pensioner and 
did not indicate to whom he or she was assigned, the identity and social status 
of many caretakers cannot be known. Nevertheless, the names of people of wealth 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

and status appear repeatedly among those in the records, making it probable that 
such people maintained a large proportion of assigned pensioners. There are two 
indications that the wealthy were particularly involved in caring for assigned poor 
relief recipients. First, during the early part of the eighteenth century, people car- 
rying the title of colonel, major, or captain, which denoted a position of impor- 
tance within the militia, had many indigents assigned to them. 15 Second, people 
who at some point during their life served as a justice on the Prince George's court, 
a prominent position generally reserved for those of wealth and influence within 
the community, frequently acted as caretakers. Often, the court assigned indigents 
to former justices as well as to people who not yet begun their tenure on the 
court. 16 Even more common, however, acting justices accepted assigned indigents. 17 

Payments given to caretakers for their services were, on average, larger than 
the relief payments given to poor relief recipients who were not assigned. Whether 
a pensioner was provided for in the home of a family member or a prominent 
and wealthy member of the community, the cost of maintaining assigned 
indigents was consistently higher, as they tended to represent the most needy of 
all poor relief recipients. Caring for people in such conditions required more 
and costlier involvement from the court. Financial agreements made with care- 
takers were further complicated because, unlike pensions given directly to poor 
relief recipients for acquiring necessities such as food and clothing, the com- 
pensatory payments provided to caretakers probably took into account the time 
and effort involved in attending to a poor boarder. Though there is no direct 
evidence to support this assertion, the high cost of assigning indigents, coupled 
with the fact that caretakers performed an important service only a few people 
in the community were willing or able to undertake, suggests that the court had 
to offer inducements for people to accept the burden. Furthermore, as discussed 
above, a small group of wealthy citizens consistently received many of the poor 
the court assigned. This fact alone does not establish that potential profits mo- 
tivated the wealthy to become caretakers; however, if the court indeed compen- 
sated caretakers for more than just the material expenses incurred while watch- 
ing over assigned pensioners, the potential for citizens to benefit financially by 
assuming responsibility for several indigents was no doubt a reality. By taking 
advantage of economies of scale and saving money on clothing, supplies, and 
duplicated services, the profit margin could increase as a caretaker assumed 
responsibility for more indigents. Viewed from this perspective, the decision of 
affluent residents to accept numerous assigned pensioners appears to have been 
part of an effort to establish small-scale for-profit poorhouses. 

Without the possibility of profit, the system of assigning probably could 
not have endured. Unless one was caring for a close friend or relative, no incen- 
tive existed for investing the immense effort needed to care for an indigent. How- 
ever, while the profit motive kept the system functioning, it also left open the 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


possibility that some of the most impoverished in the community would not re- 
ceive the assistance they needed. Because the practice of assigning pensioners worked 
on incentive and not coercion, the ability of the court to assign a particular poor 
person ultimately depended on the willingness of private citizens to take people 
into their homes. As a result, although the court could advance a person's chances 
of finding a caretaker by offering greater monetary compensation, there was no 
guarantee that someone would be interested in attending to that person at the 
proposed rate. For example, if potential caretakers viewed an especially sick or 
aged petitioner as presenting too great a financial risk, or if the court was unable 
to agree with a caretaker on how much compensation should be provided, then 
the indigent, who might well be in need of supervised assistance, could lose the 
opportunity to be assigned. Based on the relative scarcity of cases such as those 
involving Willoughbey, Linton, and Bishop, the court appears to have been gener- 
ally successful in placing those pensioners it deemed worthy of additional expense. 
But because the poor relief system was unable, either structurally or financially, to 
guarantee a caretaker to all deserving pensioners, some needy people were un- 
doubtedly left without adequate care. 

From this assessment, it is evident that there were cases in which factors out- 
side the court's control prohibited the justices from assisting a pensioner in the 
way they desired. One can, for example, attribute the inability of deserving people 
like Edward Willoughbey, who had spent fifteen consecutive years on the poor 
relief rolls, and Joan Bishop, who was one of the most needy people in Prince 
George's County for more than two decades, to find caretakers to reasons other 
than the justices simply deciding they were not worthy of being assigned. In some 
cases, however, the court appeared to make little effort to provide help. One such 
incident occurred in 1749 when Giles Vermillion went before the court on behalf of 
his daughter. He told the justices that he "hath a daughter about fifteen years of 
age who hath been troubled with fits fourteen years which said fits hath much 
impaired her memory and quick destroyed the use of her hands and arms being so 
helpless and not to be able to feed herself and the malady increases with her years." 
Vermillion further stated that without the court's support, he would be fully inca- 
pable of supporting his daughter. Despite Vermillion's impassioned plea, the court 
rejected his petition. The justices must have eventually recognized the severity of 
Vermillion's situation and their own previous error, however, because the court 
began several years later to provide him with an allowance "for the support of his 
child." 18 

While the justices remedied their error in Vermillion's case, many problem- 
atic rulings were not amended. On several occasions, for instance, the court 
denied assistance to abandoned women and mothers. In 1 722, Sarah Mills asked 
the justices to order her husband, who had recently abandoned her, to help take 
care of the children he fathered. The following year, Mary Moore asked the court 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

for an allowance, claiming that her husband had "lately left her in a bad condi- 
tion." Once again, in 1724, Elizabeth Ward petitioned the justices for poor relief 
because her husband Murphey Ward had abandoned her, leaving her "incapable 
to support her self and four children." 19 In all three of these episodes, the court 
denied the women any assistance, leaving them on their own to search for ways 
to provide for themselves and their children. 

These various incidents indicate that while the relief system was effective in 
some respects, it was nevertheless an imperfect operation. Men who received 
relief were almost always old, ill, and unable to work. But because of the wide- 
spread belief that women without husbands, even when able-bodied, deserved 
public support, a majority of poor relief recipients each year were females. With 
the exception of 1734, 1735, 1736, 1744, and 1747, a higher percentage of poor 
relief recipients were female during every year between 1734 and 1769. 

In this poor relief system, nobody had a "right" to receive relief, and the 
county had no obligation to provide assistance to anyone. As a result, even when 
the justices attempted to act fairly and responsibly, the court faced numerous 
pressures that undoubtedly influenced the nature of its decisions. Financial con- 
siderations were especially important. In particular, making certain that the poor 
relief system did not become overly expensive and unpopular among taxpayers 
was always a significant concern. The cost of the relief system became an even 
more pressing issue during the second half of the eighteenth century when the 
number of people applying for relief grew dramatically, making it difficult for 
every "deserving" person to receive assistance. 

One of the clearest examples of how changing circumstances could influ- 
ence the court's decision was that even people who were already receiving pen- 
sions could not be certain of continued support. Each year, anyone who wanted 
public support had to petition the court, regardless of how many years she or he 
had been on the relief rolls. This arrangement created a situation in which people 
who had come to depend on a pension for their livelihood could instantly lose 
their support. In 1753, for example, Thomas Tucker told the court that his wife 
had for sometime been receiving a pension and that now, more than ever be- 
fore, was "quite incapable of supporting herself." Despite Tucker's history of 
receiving relief payments, the court chose to deny her any further help. 20 Simi- 
larly, in 1750, the court denied Elizabeth Henneberry a pension even though it 
had "been pleased for this year or two past to make me an allowance from the 
county and I still grow more infirm I humbly begg your worships will make me 
an allowance that may be thought sufficient for my support." 21 In both cases, 
women who had been collecting public support for several years suddenly found 
themselves purged from the relief rolls even though they claimed their conditions 
were worsening. Were Tucker and Henneberry unable to get a pension because 
lack of money meant that it had to spread more widely? Did the court decide that 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


there were more needy and deserving people in the community? Or did the justices 
believe that family members or friends instead of the public could provide for 
Tucker and Henneberry? The absence of detailed evidence prevents an answer. 
Perhaps the court had good reasons for its actions. Nevertheless, the many in- 
stances in which the court rejected "worthy" petitions makes the justices' decisions 
appear inconsistent if not capricious. 

These examples illustrate the realities of a system that provided an impor- 
tant means of support for many people but left others struggling to find alter- 
native means of survival. As harsh as the consequences appear at times, they 
were not remarkable, considering that the justices had such immense and un- 
regulated power over the decision-making process. Even though Maryland's poor 
relief system maintained the tradition of public responsibility towards the de- 
serving poor, it nonetheless had numerous limitations. In particular, because 
the system gave a few individuals the complete responsibility for making choices 
that balanced both moral and financial considerations while providing no for- 
mal guidelines for making these decisions apart from individual conscience and 
community pressure, many needy and worthy people were undoubtedly de- 
prived of aid they deserved. Because these inadequacies of the poor relief sys- 
tem meant that the destitute had no guarantee that they would receive relief or 
maintain their current relief payments from year to year, it is necessary to ex- 
amine what other options existed for those people who fell through the gaps. 

Church, Community, and Private Charity 

While surviving records present a clear idea of how the publicly adminis- 
tered poor relief system functioned, only minimal evidence indicates the orga- 
nization and extent of private poor relief activity. Nevertheless, based on the 
records that are available for Prince George's County, family members and neigh- 
bors commonly assisted each other when able. "Even though the county court 
in Maryland and the Anglican vestry in Virginia were legally obligated to help 
the deserving poor," Kulikoff writes, "neighbors often banded together to help 
ill, destitute, widowed, or orphaned neighbors. In Prince George's this aid took 
three forms: alms to needy folk, shelter for the old and ill, and testimony before 
the justices about the worthiness of a supplicant." 22 Though the public system 
of relief assumed responsibility for some needy people who previously depended 
on support from the community, perhaps a majority of the poor relied on pri- 
vate support as a first and, in many cases, only option. 

Once parishes lost an official role in distributing public relief, they do not 
seem to have compensated by increasing charitable activity. According to the Act 
for Religion of 1692, parishes were to levy a tax of forty pounds of tobacco for 
supporting a minister, and in 1698 vestries acquired the additional authority to 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

levy ten pounds of tobacco per poll to use for general parish expenses. The fact that 
churches received their operational funding through public taxation, though, did 
not limit their ability to collect additional revenue from the personal tithes of 
parishioners or through events such as lotteries. Despite the possibility that 
churches might have had to assume a significant role in providing for needy pa- 
rishioners, vestry minutes from several parishes in Prince George's County pro- 
vide no evidence that churches ever actively collected money on their own for 
distributing to the poor. The only record of organized church relief efforts be- 
tween 1700 and 1770 is from the 1730 vestry minutes of St. Barnabus' Church in 
Queen Anne Parish. This incident, which involved a call for accounts by a person 
entrusted with the "money given as ablation and alms" confirms that individuals 
gave money to the parish to assist the poor, but does not indicate that this practice 
was an important function of the church. 23 This episode leaves open the possibility 
that some churches did make an effort to meet the material needs of their parish- 
ioners. However, the overall shortage of references to such activities, along with 
the fact that the one available parish record testifies that collections for the poor 
were handled in a careless inattentive fashion, indicates that even if churches did 
make some attempt to help the poor, poor relief was not a significant concern of 
the local parish. 

While evidence of charitable activity within churches is scant, numerous 
indications exist of private charity among neighbors and family members. The 
Prince George's County court records detail incidents in which charitable assis- 
tance within the community provided an important source of support. Ben- 
jamin Christian, for example, stated in 1743 that he "must inevitably have per- 
ished" if his annual pension had not been supplemented with "the help of some 
of" his "well disposed neighbours." 24 Likewise, William Green stated that he had 
been "shot in his heel having many splinters of bone taken out before ye cure 
could be compleated which has entirely disabled him" and that having con- 
tracted many debts, was only able to subsist because of the "help of good will 
disposed people." 25 Additionally, in 1727, when John Tong first petitioned the 
court for relief, he spoke of "a poor woman" who had helped support him ever 
since a disabled leg had left him incapable of laboring. With this woman "un- 
able to assist him" any longer, Tong found it necessary to seek public poor re- 
lief. 26 Another important form of non-public relief was that which took place 
within families. Philip Kelley and John Whitsit, for example, asked the court in 
1747 to make them levy- free because they were unable to work in their old age 
and "are depending on their sons for the necessaries for life." 27 Furthermore, 
Eleanor Cessford stated during the November court session of 1756 that "after 
the death of your worships petitioners husband, everything [I] had in the world to 
support [myself] was taken away by his creditors." For some time Cessford had 
relied on relief from her mother, but she "has now broke up housekeeping and left 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


[me] quite destitute of relief." 28 Despite the widespread availability of community 
assistance, there were nevertheless occasions when people sometimes had no access 
to such help. Jane Willers was in such a predicament when she petitioned the court 
in 1724. Willers claimed that she was in need of public assistance because she was "a 
poor woman destitute of friends to support her." 29 Whether her friends and family 
had died or simply did not live in the area is not clear, but the incident does 
emphasize the importance of social networks within the community. Especially 
because communal institutions like the church did not appear to be actively in- 
volved in charitable activity, the ability to develop connections with members of 
the community was essential for obtaining access to the help that was available. 

In addition to demonstrating the important role private relief played in Prince 
George's County, these various petitions also establish the more critical point that 
pursuing public poor relief was an option most people considered only as a last 
resort when assistance from friends and relatives was not available or offered. In 
all of the cases cited above, the individuals seeking poor relief emphasized that 
they had requested a pension only because private means of support were no 
longer available. These actions on the part of the petitioners testify to both the 
availability of private relief and to the belief that the poor relief system was a 
resource for those unable to obtain adequate support from other people in the 

The fact that people generally sought help from private sources before go- 
ing to the court suggests either that people preferred private forms of assistance 
or that the operation of the public system encouraged people to act in this fash- 
ion. Kulikoff contends that people "avoided petitioning for relief because they 
recognized that such a request made them into serviie dependents and outcasts 
from civil society." 30 No doubt, a system that required pensioners to return to the 
court year after year to prove their need produced some feelings of bitterness and 
dependence. Yet, most people may have relied on the "help of good will disposed 
people," not because they feared becoming dependent on the court, but because 
the court could not be relied on as an adequate and constant source of support. In 
other words, private charity was not so prevalent because people preferred it. In 
fact, an indigent could become just as dependent on private relief as public, and 
great stigmatism was also involved in humbling oneself to go before a friend or 
family member to ask for material assistance. Rather, the pension system seems to 
have been designed primarily to serve those who did not have other relief options. 

It seems apparent that private relief options did not exist simply to provide a 
gentler alternative to the poor relief system; rather, their prevalence reflected the 
limitations of the public system. Because the court only provided support for 
those people it deemed "deserving," the poor relief rolls were only composed of 
severely poor individuals who were unable to provide for themselves in anyway. 
On the other hand, while economic conditions in Maryland during the first half of 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

the eighteenth century prevented most able-bodied people from falling into long- 
term poverty, some people did need assistance while suffering through a tempo- 
rary period of financial difficulty. Furthermore, even elderly and sick individuals 
trapped in more permanent states of impoverishment could not rely on the court 
for assistance if their condition was not overly serious and relatives existed to 
provide care. People in these situations were the ones to whom charitable indi- 
viduals directed their effort. In all probability, such people relied on private char- 
ity, not because they were reluctant to become dependent on public relief, but 
because the court-operated system was unwilling to assume responsibility for pro- 
viding for them. 

While the actual extent of private charity is not determinable, it was clearly 
the backbone of relief efforts in Prince George's County. The poor relief system 
worked more to handle cases that private initiatives did not deal with effec- 
tively. These included the costly care of very elderly and sick people as well as 
provisions for people whose lack of connections in the community left them 
without family and friends to help them. Because the poor relief system did not 
generally function as a primary resource for those in poverty, justices expected 
families to play a significant role in providing for their own. The failure of peti- 
tioners to pursue private relief options, in fact, often prevented them from re- 
ceiving public relief. As a result, getting a poor relief pension depended heavily 
on a petitioner's ability to convince the justices that no help was available from 
other sources. Even people whose circumstances seemingly made them strong 
candidates to receive a pension could not assume that the court would help 
them if other individuals were able to assume the responsibility instead. One 
remark that Sarah Duvall made at a 1 749 court session actually raises the possi- 
bility that public poor relief was at times only available to those who could 
sufficiently demonstrate an inability to get assistance from within the commu- 
nity. Explaining to the justices why she was in need of relief, Duvall stated that, 
"although [I] have parents, they are poore or say they are so that [I] cannot get 
the necessarys of life amongst them as [I am] ready to declare on oath as re- 
quired." 31 The fact that petitioners offered to demonstrate through statements, 
witnesses, and even the taking of an oath that they had no means of mainte- 
nance apart from the court illustrates that the court viewed private charity as an 
important supplement to the poor relief system. 

As discussed above, though private charity played a significant role, it nev- 
ertheless had limitations. The most significant restriction facing private relief 
efforts was their general inability to deal with people whose care required close 
supervision or costly intervention. Furthermore, unlike the poor relief system, 
which was always able to generate funding through the levy, private initiatives 
were much less stable and could be upended by changing economic conditions. 
For example, as Duvall's statement indicates, even when a poor individual had 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


family members living nearby, there was no guarantee that they would be able or 
willing to provide assistance, especially during times when difficult financial cir- 
cumstances left a family unable to assume the added burden of providing for 
another person. Moreover, even if a family did have money to support a family 
member, many of the poor were so old and disabled that providing assistance 
required not only monetary support but also an extensive investment of time 
and energy that many families could not afford. William Nicholls found himself 
in such a predicament. For some time, he had been caring for Elinor Miles at his 
home. But because Miles was "very sickly and weak in which condition she still 
continues hardly able to put on her cloaths," Nicholls, being "a poor man and 
having numerous family of small children," found helping Miles to be "too 
burthensome." The nature of the relationship between Nicholls and Miles is not 
clear, but Nicholls was evidently torn between the obligation he felt to help Miles 
and the need to be more concerned about his own financial well being. As a 
result, he eventually asked the Prince George's County Court either to assume 
responsibility for caring for Miles or to compensate him for the time and money 
he was investing in caring for her. 32 Meeting the needs of a poor and feeble 
friend evidently proved too demanding for Nicholls to do on his own, as it likely 
did for other families as well. 

Though some individuals were willing freely to extend help to the poor, on 
many occasions like those involving Nicholls people went before the court to 
seek compensation for the "charitable" assistance they were providing to some- 
one. Edward Lanham, for instance, asked the justices in 1761 for "some allow- 
ance in the county levy" for the trouble and expense of caring for Richard Kearsly, 
"a man that is almost blind and hath been so for many years [and who] came to 
his house on the 9th of October from a fair at Piscattaway: and had been there 
very much hurt and tore in one of his arms by some doggs." 33 Edward Bradshaw 
sought similar compensation from the court in 1723, when he told the justices 
that he had taken care of and decently buried John Cranfoot, who "came to his 
house the week before Christmas last where he continued ill and languishing 
until ye seventh day of March when he died." For having taken care of Cranfoot 
during his illness, the court awarded Bradshaw six hundred pounds of tobacco. 34 

People who cared for strangers who happened to appear at their doorstep 
were not the only ones making requests to the court for compensation: numer- 
ous people asked the court to reimburse them for the cost of caring for a family 
member. The court essentially subsidized family members to provide care, a 
practice that was probably less expensive than assigning indigents. In 1718, for 
example, John Lee petitioned the court to compensate him for taking care of and 
burying his sister, who, "taken sick on the road and found by William Nicholls 
lying by the road side who brought her to the said Lee's house where she dyed 
and was buryed." 35 William Harris made a similar request in 1723 when he told 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

the justices that for the past "four or five years" he had "at a very great expense kept 
and maintained not only in the conveniences of life but in other very changeable 
disbursements his brother in law Joseph Ranson." However, because this responsi- 
bility was a tremendous financial burden, Harris claimed he was "unable to take 
further care of him." Harris, though, did not ask the justices to compensate him for 
his troubles; instead, he requested that they relieve him of the responsibility by 
assigning his brother-in-law to another individual and paying that person suffi- 
ciently to keep and maintain Ranson. The court responded to this situation in an 
unconventional fashion and attempted to compromise with Harris. While the 
court rejected the request to assign Ranson elsewhere, they did grant Harris "the 
said Joseph's portion of the estate of his deceased father being about eight pound's 
in satisfaction for the trouble and charge" he incurred for having to continue 
caring for his brother-in-law. 36 

Though lack of documentation permanently shrouds the manifold ways 
that mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and neighbors came to the assistance of 
each other, it is nevertheless evident that for many needy families and individu- 
als in Prince George's County, some form of private assistance was a vital if not 
the only source of aid. At the same time, despite the extent and importance of 
private charity, the public poor relief system still played a vital function as well. 
Especially for the elderly, widowed, and disabled people who made up the ma- 
jority of the poor relief recipients, private support, while perhaps an option at 
one point in their lives, was probably no longer sufficient to meet long-term 
needs. Most people who suffered through periods of poverty, however, never 
had contact with the poor relief system. Those needy people for whom private 
charity was most valuable were those who were unlikely to receive public sup- 
port. When these people suffered economic difficulties because of ill health, 
injury, or other circumstances, they had no alternative but to seek help from 
relations within the community. Though by no means creating a perfect system, 
the interplay of public and private relief effectively used the community's avail- 
able resources to deal with the problem of poverty. 

A Solution for Its Time 

During the first half of the eighteenth century, the problem of poverty in 
Maryland remained simple. Unlike conditions in England, land and opportu- 
nity continued to be relatively available. In addition, a small and dispersed popu- 
lation helped maximize opportunities for obtaining the use of land at an afford- 
able rate, an essential component in preventing the development of a large class of 
impoverished able-bodied adults. Consequently, people who were physically able 
to labor rarely spent long periods of time in poverty. By purchasing or renting 
land, or in some cases by working as a hired hand, most free individuals in Mary- 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


land were able to earn a meager but adequate living. The availability of land along 
with a large labor shortage prevented all but a small minority from remaining 
unfed and chronically unemployed or underemployed. 37 County officials, there- 
fore, saw no need to provide assistance to able-bodied workers. As a result, only 
residents who were permanently unable to provide for themselves because of age 
and infirmity (and in a few rare cases, those who were temporarily unable to labor 
because of a disability or illness) could expect to receive support from the court. 

Because of these circumstances, the decades following the inception of the 
poor relief system saw the total number of Marylanders who depended on poor 
relief remain minimal. In 1709, for example, all counties in Maryland supported 
on average only fifteen poor relief recipients. 38 Prince George's was no excep- 
tion, supporting only ten individuals in 1710 (with 1,727 taxables) and eighteen 
in 171 1 (with 1,777 taxables). Even though the total number of recipients con- 
tinued to rise in the county during this decade, the relief system did not become 
burdensome, because concurrent population growth always compensated for 
increased relief payments by providing additional tax revenue. In fact, with the 
exception of a brief drop that occurred for a few years between 1710 and 1719, 
the ratio of taxable citizens to individuals receiving poor relief pensions remained 
steady in Prince George's County. By the 1730s and 1740s, well over one hun- 
dred taxables supported each pensioner during most years. Thus, while the 
county often maintained between fifty and sixty pensioners during the 1740s, a 
growth in the taxable population to between five and six thousand people ad- 
equately counterbalanced this increase in the number of pensioners. Because 
land remained available, labor stayed in demand, and the number of poor de- 
pendents remained small, the poor relief system remained tiny but adequate, 
and was only a minor tax burden for the citizens of the county during these 

Far from developing into a financial burden to the pubic, the poor relief 
system that first emerged in the 1670s changed little for several decades. With 
the system effectively accomplishing its purpose, authorities quickly dismissed 
as unnecessary recommendations that Maryland counties eliminate the system 
in favor of alms and workhouses. Talbot County, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, 
did appear to move toward creating a county almshouse in 1704 when the jus- 
tices ordered all persons receiving poor relief to live at Daniel Sherwood's house. 39 
However, Talbot was clearly the exception. Evidence of similar arrangements 
does not exist for any other county whose records have survived. Ironically, while 
1704 marked the year that Talbot County established the framework for a poor- 
house, it also marked the year that the Maryland General Assembly formally 
dismissed the idea of constructing poorhouses on a widespread basis. In consider- 
ing a motion that "Stocks be provided and publick work houses built," the House 
resolved that because "the poore are Sufficiently provided for by law[,] there be- 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

ing no such thing as beggars going from door to door for want of employment," 
poorhouses were unnecessary. 40 

Despite this initial rejection of poorhouse construction, the issue did not 
go away. Several times during the eighteenth century, Maryland's English gov- 
ernors urged the construction of poorhouses for the deserving indigent and 
workhouses as a place of confinement and correction for vagrants. Neverthe- 
less, Maryland's county leaders continually rebuffed such recommendations, 
claiming that the expense was too great and that there was no need for such 
arrangements in a colony where work was readily available for everyone and no 
problem with beggars existed. 41 Although the poor relief system failed to pro- 
vide relief to all needy Marylanders, it did provide an adequate means of assist- 
ing many individuals who were sick, aged, or unable to work. Furthermore, as 
long as the number of people receiving relief remained small, the counties hardly 
needed to construct large houses that could accommodate all public depen- 
dents. Rather, it was more economical to place those dependents in need of 
intensive care in the private homes of county residents. Because of economic 
and social conditions in Maryland, the poor relief system that first appeared in 
1671 maintained a high level of effectiveness throughout the colony for nearly a 

Toward the Poorhouse 

While calls for the construction of poorhouses continued, no county showed 
any inclination to move away from existing poor relief methods though the 
1750s. Suddenly, however, beginning in the early 1760s, people who had long 
defended the poor relief system began calling for its end and, echoing the words 
of Maryland's Governor Horatio Sharpe, supported "the building of Work- 
houses in every County." 42 The move towards poorhouses reached full stride in 
November 1765, when inhabitants of Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Worcester 
Counties (Prince George's joined these three counties later in the legislative ses- 
sion) petitioned the legislature to authorize establishment of "hospitals or work- 
houses" in their respective counties. Feeling burdened by the current system, 
these counties asked for relief "from the great and heavy Charge arising from 
the Allowance made for the Support and Maintenance of the Poor." In particu- 
lar, these four counties maintained that poorhouses would offer both a more 
economical means of providing for the deserving poor and also a way to "check 
the Disorders committed by" an increasing number of "common beggars and idle 
Vagabonds." As a result, with political pressure mounting and the evidence clearly 
demonstrating that the cost of providing for the poor was rising steeply, many 
legislators began seriously considering "Whether the Erection of Work-houses or 
Houses of Correction, in all the Counties, would not give great Relief to the Inhab- 
itants in the annual Levies, [and] afford more regular and better applied Provi- 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


Governor Horatio Sharpe reported the need for 
poor relief to Frederick Calvert, Sixth Lord Balti- 
more, in 1754. (Maryland Historical Society.) 

sion for the Poor." Particularly compelling for many legislators were the previous 
year's tax levies from ten of Maryland's fourteen colonies. These showed that the 
cost of poor relief totaled "One Million three hundred Seven Thousand Six hun- 
dred and forty two pounds of Tobacco." Concluding that the "Burthen occasioned 
by our present Method of providing for the Poor is generally felt and complained 
of, and we could wish to see some better Regulation of this matter universally 
introduced into this Province," the Upper House of the legislature concluded that 
building poorhouses was the most effective way to control the rising cost of poor 
relief. However, failure of the Lower House to endorse this position delayed fur- 
ther action until another session. 43 

The next significant development occurred during the autumn of 1766 when 
the Lower House appointed a committee to draft a bill for "the better support of 
the poor and for erecting workhouses in the several counties in the Province." 44 
Again, however, the Assembly took no further action during this session, and 
the issue seemed to disappear from the formal legislative agenda. But during 
the 1768 Assembly, legislators prepared and promptly passed through both 
houses "An Act for the relief of the poor within several counties named," and 
Maryland finally took the first step toward revamping its poor relief system. Like 
the action the legislature took in 1765, the pivotal changes that developed in 1768 
were the result of beleaguered counties placing pressure on the Assembly and 
arguing, as the preamble of the 1768 act stated, that the "number, and continual 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

increase, of the poor within this province is very great, and exceedingly burden- 
some . . . [and] might be gready lessened by a due regulation and employment of 
them." 45 During the 1768 session, Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Worcester, 
Frederick, and Charles Counties called for the legislation. The Assembly's rapid 
response to the petition of these counties strongly suggests that most legislators 
had come to realize the need for changing the method of providing for the poor. 

The major accomplishment of the 1768 legislation was that it authorized each 
of the five counties to construct and manage an alms and workhouse at the public 
expense. The counties were to raise the necessary funds for constructing and oper- 
ating the poorhouse by levying a tax of no more than fifteen pounds of tobacco per 
capita for three years. Once the house was in place, county magistrates were to 
appoint five "trustees of the poor" who would be responsible for managing the 
poorhouse, making laws to regulate the poor, and punishing vagrants, beggars, 
vagabonds, and other similar offenders. In addition, the trustees were to appoint 
an overseer of poorhouse who, according to provision XIV of the new legislation, 
was to "keep a fair and regular list of all poor, beggars, vagrants, vagabonds and 
other offenders, who shall be committed to their respective alms and workhouse, 
and also a fair and regular account, in writing, of all materials and other things 
coming to his hands . . . and of all expenses and charges attending their mainte- 
nance and support, and of all monies received by him for the sale of the produce of 
their labour." 46 For the first time since Maryland instituted its poor relief system in 
1671, certain counties were moving away from the practice of caring for the poor 
in private homes and instead were developing a centralized system that was in- 
tended to reduce the cost of poor relief and deal with the growing number of 
vagrants and beggars who had neither a permanent home nor steady employ- 

The transition to alms and workhouse-centered poor relief was not entirely 
smooth for all the counties involved. Both Anne Arundel and Frederick, for 
example, had difficulty raising the requisite funds to implement the new sys- 
tem. Frederick County officials conceded that "it appears that the assessments 
heretofore made by the justices of Frederick County have not been sufficient to 
answer the purpose thereby intended and that there appears to be a consider- 
able balance due." 47 To remedy this problem, the Assembly had to pass legisla- 
tion during the fall 1771 session to allow Frederick County to raise additional 
funds. Similarly, after spending three years raising money for the construction 
of a poorhouse, Anne Arundel County did not have nearly enough funds to 
build a structure large enough to accommodate its needs. Anne Arundel claimed 
that 180 individuals were currently receiving poor relief pensions and that this 
number did not include the vagrants whom the county would also have to place 
in the new workhouse. Furthermore, county officials claimed that "by the best 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


computation," they could construct a house capable of accommodating 130 people 
for no less than £3,000 — and this estimate did not include the cost of purchasing 
land. The problem was that after three years of collecting levies designed specifi- 
cally for the purpose of purchasing land and building an alms and workhouse, 
Anne Arundel had raised only £ 1 ,849. As with Frederick County, this predicament 
forced the trustees of the poor to petition the legislature "to afford them such 
Relief as on Consideration of the Premises they shall think fit." 48 

Despite these initial setbacks, support for the poorhouse did not wane. In fact, 
in 1 773 the Assembly passed two acts, one for St. Marys county and one for Balti- 
more County that authorized workhouses for those jurisdictions, and in 1774 it 
passed a similar act for Talbot County. The wording of the preambles of all three of 
these acts were almost identical to that of the pivotal legislation that the Assembly 
passed in 1 768. They all attributed the need for a poorhouse to the "Number and 
continual Increase of the poor," which is "exceedingly burthensome [and] which 
might be greatly lessened by a due regulation and Employment of them." 49 As with 
Prince George's County several years earlier, more counties throughout Mary- 
land had begun to recognize the need to enact fundamental changes in the way 
they provided for the poor. But in 1773, when St. Marys and Baltimore had just 
begun the move towards establishing a poorhouse system, Prince George's was 
already well on its way. On January 30, 1772, the Maryland Gazette noted that: 

The trustees for the Poor for Prince George's County having pur- 
chased one hundred acres of land according to an act of the Assem- 
bly to build a poorhouse for the poor of the said County, do hereby 
give notice that they will meet at Upper Marlborough on Monday 
the second day of March 1772 in order to contract with workmen to 
build a brick building for the above purpose. There are on the land 
very good clay, sand, water, wood and scantling. Any persons inclin- 
able to apply on that day, or before, may leave their proposals in 
writing with any of the trustees." 50 

While some counties were struggling to raise adequate funds for building a poor- 
house and others had just received the Assembly's authorization to do so, by 
1 773 Prince George's County was prepared to move ahead and address the short- 
comings of the old poor relief system. 

The Breakdown of Traditional Poor Relief 

The social and economic developments that compelled many counties to aban- 
don the traditional system of poor relief in favor of poorhouses and workhouses 
require examination. These included changes in population, the number of relief 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

recipients, the composition of poor relief rolls, and the declining ability people 
had to achieve economic stability and upward mobility. 

For many years, the ratio of taxable citizens to the number of poor relief 
recipients remained roughly the same. But, beginning around the mid-point of 
the eighteenth century, the number of people on the relief rolls began to grow at a 
much more rapid pace than population. 51 A clear demonstration of these changes 
can be seen from the fact that, in 1743, 5,708 taxables supported 46 poor relief 
recipients. When the legislature created Frederick County in 1749 out of land in 
the western part of Prince George's, Prince George's instantly lost nearly 40 per- 
cent of its population (the number of taxables fell from 6,624 to 3,902). Because 
most Prince George's poor lived in more densely populated older areas, the num- 
ber of pensioners did not decrease. Not until 1769 did the county's population 
again rise to 5,700 taxables. Over the same period, poor relief recipients more than 
doubled to ninety-six. 

The dramatic loss in Prince George's population greatly exacerbated strains 
that were already pressuring its poor relief system. Even without the creation of 
Frederick County, the number of pensioners was growing faster than the popu- 
lation. Between 1749 and 1769, Prince George's added thirty-one people to the 
relief rolls and just under 1,800 new taxable residents. This development meant 
that there were fifty-eight new taxpayers available to support every new pen- 
sioner, a lower ratio than that for any one year between 1710 and 1769. Clearly, 
during the two decades after 1749, the conditions that had long made the poor 
relief system manageable and inexpensive were beginning to change. As a result, 
Prince George's and other counties that were experiencing similar developments 
began to complain of the oppressive cost of the poor relief system. An increased 
percentage of the population was beginning to receive annual relief payments, 
and the number of taxpayers available to support the pensioners was decreas- 
ing. Even if the average cost of maintaining a person did not change, the opera- 
tion of the system was becoming more difficult and burdensome. 

While dealing with a growing number of pensioners was troublesome enough 
for the counties, the particular way that the number of dependents was increas- 
ing placed even greater stress on the poor relief system. Specifically, the makeup 
of the poor relief population changed. 

The most striking development was the increase in the number of pension- 
ers who were long-term dependents of ten or more years. The percentage of 
people receiving long-term assistance grew consistently from 16 to 66 percent 
between 1734 and 1769, and their total number of long-term recipients increased 
from seven to forty, again attesting to the dramatic changes taking place. Con- 
versely, the number of people who stayed on the relief rolls less than five years 
decreased steadily, a trend that continued between 1734 and 1769, becoming most 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


pronounced after 1 747 when the number and percentage of people in these catego- 
ries decreased to near insignificance. 

The interesting aspect of these developments was that for the first time, growth 
each year in the total number of poor relief recipients occurred without a signifi- 
cant increase in the number of new recipients. The percentage of all poor relief 
recipients who were first-time pensioners decreased substantially, dropping from 
34 and 39 percent in 1735 and 1736 to 16 and 14 percent in 1768 and 1769. Further- 
more, during the very years in which the number of long-term recipients was 
expanding most rapidly, the number of first-time recipients was consistently mini- 
mal. These trends suggest that much of the growth in the number of people on the 
poor relief rolls resulted from changes in the composition of people receiving 
relief, specifically an increase in the number of pensioners who remained on relief 
for long periods of time, rather than an increase in the number of people petition- 
ing for relief each year. 

These changes created significant problems that counties had to address. 
First, because counties had to support poor relief recipients longer than before, 
the number of current pensioners did not decrease rapidly enough to allow 
room for new people to receive pensions without increasing the total number 
of recipients. As a result, even though the number of pensioners applying for 
relief each year did not increase significantly, the slower rate at which pension- 
ers were purged from the rolls caused an overall growth in the total number of 
poor relief recipients at any one time. Secondly, because this increase in the 
number of recipients occurred almost exclusively among people who had re- 
ceived relief for at least ten years, poor relief operations became more compli- 
cated and expensive. The added expenses occurred because, while almost all 
pensioners were extremely poor and unable to work, long-term recipients tended 
to be the poorest of all. Some people, especially those who received relief for 
only a few years, did so as a means of temporary support while overcoming an 
illness or disability that prevented them from working. Long-term recipients, 
on the other hand, were often very aged and permanently incapacitated people 
who depended heavily on high pensions for their maintenance and were un- 
likely to escape poverty during their lifetimes. These circumstances made it nec- 
essary for the court to pay high pensions for long periods of time — costs that 
were often further inflated because the court had to assign these individuals to 
private homes that could provide intensive care and supervision. 

A close study of long-term poor relief recipients reveals that their annual 
payments typically increased in a slow and systematic manner over time. Sophia 
Hawker, for example, received 283 pounds of tobacco (this and all of the following 
payments are adjusted for inflation) during her first year on relief. Her annual 
pension continued to grow in size during the next eighteen years she spent in the 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

relief system. In 1 753 it rose to 306 pounds of tobacco, in 1 755 to 467 pounds, in 
1759to 454pounds, in 1763 to451 pounds, in 1764 to 752 pounds, and duringher 
final year as a pensioner in 1769, to 842 pounds of tobacco. Hawker is only one 
example of a pensioner whose relief payment gradually increased over a long pe- 
riod of time. Often, pensions were rather small when the person first received 
relief, steadily increased during the middle years as the pensioner's condition gradu- 
ally worsened, and then grew quickly in the years approaching death, when the 
court often had to provide additional medical care or assign the pensioner to a 
private home. 

With this tendency for pensions to increase in size over time, the average 
pension for the recipients was consistently higher than the average pension for 
people who were on the relief rolls for shorter periods of time. The county's 
costs increased further after 1750, when the number of long-term pensioners 
began to increase at an extremely rapid rate. In 1755, 1756, and 1757, for ex- 
ample, payments to long-term recipients amounted to 73, 70, and 76 percent of 
the entire poor relief budget. While the average payment in this category fluctu- 
ated considerably from year to year, the increased number of long-term peti- 
tioners meant that only once after 1750 did this group consume less than 50 
percent of all poor relief expenditures. Only twice in the fifteen years before 
1750 did these expenditures exceed 50 percent of the total budget. The high cost 
of caring for long-term recipients coupled with their rapidly increasing num- 
bers in the second half of the eighteenth century placed extreme pressures on 
the traditional poor relief system. 

The dramatic impact that the increased number of category four recipients 
had on the relief system is not as apparent when simply examining annual changes 
in the average poor relief payment distributed by the court. Just as there were 
rather strong fluctuations in the average payments of the four individual cat- 
egories, the combined average relief payment of all categories shows an even 
greater tendency to vacillate. Nevertheless, an overall trend toward increased 
cost does emerge during the course of the century. For the years between 1734 
and 1739, the average poor relief payment to a pensioner was £3.13. The pay- 
ment increased to £4.60 during the decade between 1740 and 1749, only to fall 
to £4.38 between 1750 and 1759. However, aided by a steady increase in the 
average payment from 1763 on, including very large annual payments in 1767, 
1768, and 1769 — the years during which agitation for poorhouse construction 
reached its peak and saw the first significant piece of legislation enacted — the 
average pension grew to £4.74 between 1760 and 1769. 

Another indication of the strain that the rise in pensioners placed on the 
relief system is the total annual amount of money that Prince George's County 
invested in poor relief. Between 1734 and 1764, there was a trend, albeit an incon- 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


sistent one, toward greater poor relief expenditures. This development was mainly 
the result of the gradual growth in pensioners that occurred during the first half of 
the century. Between 1 764 and 1 769, however, during which the number of pen- 
sioners increased from sixty-nine to ninety-six, poor relief expenditures in Prince 
George's County rose spectacularly from £257 to £819. Because the cost of the 
relief system increased without substantial population growth (5,170 taxables to 
5,700 taxables), the tax burden per taxable also swelled tremendously. Whereas 
the tax burden fluctuated wildly between 1734 and 1764, it expanded steadily from 
14 to 35 pence from 1764 to 1769. As a result, these changes placed pressure on not 
only the relief system but also the taxpayers who supported its operation as well. 

The economic and social changes that took place during the second half of the 
eighteenth century were the major reason behind the move toward the poor- 
house. Counties argued that the existing method of providing poor relief had 
grown too burdensome, and there was little indication that the system would 
soon become less expensive to operate. Kulikoff maintains that the poor relief 
system began to break down in the 1750s and 1760s. "As youths migrated to the 
piedmont frontier, the proportion of older adults among the tidewater's popu- 
lation increased," he writes. "At the same time, tobacco inspection laws reduced 
production on marginal lands farmed by the poor and further added to poor 
rolls" 52 Based on the data available for Prince George's County, Kulikoff 's asser- 
tion provides an adequate explanation for many of the changes that were taking 
place. Considering that the dramatic growth in the number of long-term pen- 
sioners took place without an increase in the annual number of new recipients, 
it is likely that an exodus of parts of the population played a significant role. As 
Kulikoff implies, because the young adults migrating from Prince George's rarely 
spent time on the relief rolls, the population that stayed behind contained a 
higher percentage of sick and elderly people who were more likely to be long- 
term pensioners. 

Migration and the changing composition of the relief rolls, however, do not 
fully explain why the list of pensioners grew so quickly in the 1760s, especially 
considering the fact that the number of people petitioning the court each year 
did not decrease in spite of large migration. Understanding this problem re- 
quires a consideration of the economic changes that were taking place in the 
Chesapeake at this time, one of which was the displacement of middling farm- 
ers because of tobacco inspection laws. The efforts of Maryland's government 
to regulate tobacco came in the form of the Tobacco Inspection Act of 1747, 
which for the purpose of eliminating the practice of including "trash" tobacco 
in shipments, ruled that all tobacco had to be brought to one of seventy-five 
warehouses for inspection. At the warehouses, salaried inspectors examined the 
tobacco for trash and burned whatever was unfit for export. 53 Though the Act 


Maryland Historical Magazine 


Mr. G»EEi>, June 5. 1753- 

P LEASE It it/it I iht mnJir wifln, i» rtWr 
rr 1 rli'f Pafrr, mud im ft esVsf . rear will mmit 
tblxri MMr Cmfitmtr , A PlAKTU, 

PON periling your News Paper, of 
the 5th of Sfril. I found ■ Paragraph, 
nrg'd bjr t Period, who fubfcribes 
Ctirgi Miatujtll j and what he laid, 

it in favour of oar Infpcctsoa Law : 
The Gentleman mar jullljr fnblcribe btcntd! Mian 
ml/, for aught 1 know ; bul I am fare he is far 
from fpakit^ ivttt : He it been very candid in 
giving his Opinion upon an Infpcclioo Law, {hew 
■ng, that it has bet* of great Adraniage 10 tht> 
Province,: bat my Seaximenta on that Head, will 
not allow me to join with him in kit Opinion, for 
I am certain *Jkat the I nfpcAion Law has be* a of 
no general Advantage to ike Country. At he 
tiyi, he iafintsatae he ia a Weil wifher to hii Conn 
try, bul I think he it 001 one ; becaufa no Man, 
ia my Opinion, ii a Well wittier 10 his Country, 
who pleads in Behalf of the Infpettioo Law -, For 
what Experience we have already had of fuch a 
Law, plainly appeara. that it has not been of an 
Advantage to the Country; and I am afraid 11 
naver will, Ihould it continue ever fuch a Term of 
Years. We tee daily, by the Account! of Salea 
for Tobacco, which hai been fhipp'd for these lad 
two or three Years, has not been higher than what 
we ufed to have before the fnfpection Law wae 
made, and ia iha Time of War alfo, when freight 
war at Sateen Poanda »rr Ton, which wai at that 
Time a great DrfadvatUge to the Accmou for 
Tobacco: The Accounts of Salea mutt make it 
appear, whether the Law haa been of an Advan 
tag*, or not. At to my own Accounts, they are 
not fo good now, aa they were before the Law 

was meejc | anal by what laformecioa I hav* t roan 

many Gentlemen P enters, their Accounts era as 
low; which, if ir«c, where is the Frails of the 
Infpcflton lav I Why, I will aafwer, ii was loft 
the irft Year of ii'a being to Force, but aot the 
Chargca with it 1 no, the Charges Hill continues, 
snd many of my poor Brother Planters feels it : 
And Ihould the Law be revived, we mail labour 
ander many Charges, or more than we now do : 
Bnt 1 hop* lha Legislative Power will cafe oa of 
our Borden, by throwing down a Law that haa 
been only for the Intcrell of a few. 

I mail now take npon me to asfwvr Mr. Mi** 
mil. In a few Point., which he has given the 
Public, in regard to the Icfpcctiou Law. The 
jcntlcman (ays, that the Expeocc of the new Law 
m overcome, and the HardQiipe is removed : in 
hat Point, I mult beg Leave to fay, be it wrong 
ia hie AfTcrtion ; for I he Sxpence which artenda 
ha Law, will never be a< an End, while the Law 
remtioues, which is evident : We arc at the Charge 
>f Inspecting our Tobacco ; we arc alfo at the 
Charge of repairing the Houses, Scales, and Weights, 
Jc. and how can Mr. Maarwill be r ght ia hir 
^ffertioe, by saving, the Burcca is overcome. Mr. 
Mtmwwtll alfo fayr, what atuft become of the poor 
nduftrious Planter, who haa a Family to Support, 
a ease the Law lb no Id fail I Indeed my Sentiments 
») that Point, telle me, he will do much better 
vrthout the Law, than with it ; For every reafen- 
ng Man ma* allow, it's a Hardfhip on poor Te- 
nsors, who gives, seven or eight handled Pounds 
if Tobacco fir Year, for their Ressr, and will not 
serhaps maka near tha' Quantity good, io aa to 
»»fc Infpcctsoa (for we cannot maka ease Tobacco 
Sood aa wa pleafe), and if the poor Tenant's 
rohncco Ihould not pafs, what moil bar the Corns* 
intact I Why. it is thus, he win have no Tehee 
CO to pay has Landlord, neither will he have aay 
to Support himself or Psmii? in Buy Shape . This 
arleevJ s>« mat say ia a Heidfhp : But wham thora 
a) no Inrpetllcva atsnve,. if she poor TnssaM'a Tashvac 
» Ihould not be fo good as to patafc his Laaviloed, 
h« may drfpove of- it to row* o ther 1 anal U he 
" jet I 

Price fat it, ss'» 1 

destroyed : So that J mnft affirm 
that the poor Planters is in a much worfe Ccn 
ditson under the Law, than if there was no In 
fpectjon Law at all. Mr. ittawtll fays, that 
before the Law. Merchants oblige the Plasters to 
carry their Tobacco to fuch Places, inhere they 
kept Scales and Weights 1 bul f find the Officers 
could not do ihe lame. As for my Part, f never 
paid the Merchants, by carrying my Tobacco, to 
their Bye Places of Infpectiou, as J may fo call it. 
I am fure it ia aot in the Mctcharts Power to com- 
pel their Debtors 10 do lb, there is no Law so (up 
port them ia doing lb : If the Merchants had a 
Right, Why did noi rhc Clergy, Sheriffs, aad 
other Officers, do the fame f Because there is no 
Law 10 fupport them. It ia needleft for me to 
aafwet Ml. MrarvjtU ia all hit Points, became 
too many of them are not worthy 0/ Notice. I 
will not trouble my Fellow Planters with any I hing 
more at prefent, but (hall wait another Opportunity. 

J mm, Britbir PUutrrt, , N 

'Jt Will wi/brr for mw Jmjftffin Lm-w, 


V E rV I C E. F,h.o, y 24. 

TH E Court of Spain continues to make Re 
mittances'to Italy, where 'tis reckoned the 
Trctfureia of that Power have actually above fix 
Millions of PiaAres in their Hands, Part of which, 
'tis said, ia to hat employed in Trade, and the rati 
in War, for what we know. 

£ee/ev* f Fib. 16. Tha Corficins have publitn 
ed a Manilerlo ia Vindication of their laic Violen- 
ces, importing, " That they eniertain ihe fincerefl 
Sentiments ol Regard and SubmitTion rn t? n King 
of Fiancet but that they ate perfuaded his Mai fly 
ia kept is ihe Daik with relation to their Affairs 
and the Condition! on which they delivered their 
tenable Polls 10 the Marrjuii de Cunay 1" of whofe 
Recall they complain biucily. 

The Delineations of Mr. de Cui fay's Conduct 
'while he commanded in Cornea, differ greatly. 
At Genoa they rtprefent him as a Mao of a tur 
bulas: Ambition, svfao woald act as Mailer, and 
faffet 00 Equal. At Pans, his Enemies give out, 
that to his Pride and Obstinacy the ill Succefa ol 
the Affairs of Corbca ia owing). and that his aot 
acting in Concert with the Genoese CommiUntiea, 
ovcuurred ihe Mcafures of the Court, and hind* 
red the Submission of ihe Corficana. Bui his 
Friends, perhaps with mors Truth, throw all the 
Blame on the rigid and ciacl Policy of the Repub 
Ijcans. The Maiquie, ibey fay, is a Mao or ex 
cedent Secfe, and perfectly acquainted with the 
Genius of the People with whom be had to do. 
He knew that the fierce ai d haughty Maxims of 
ihe Geooefa weie very improper 10 pievail with 
Minds by Natare Enemies to Dependence and Sla- 
very, lowered by the ill Treatment they had fre 
qaenilv tcveived, and tiled with Aveifton for Maf 
tcrs whom they coafidered as Tyrants, and lava 
dera of their l iberties. The Marqaia, knowing 
that moderate Meafuraa alone could piove effectual, 
and that he behoved to refine their Manners, and 
■sake them lay afija their Roughness aad Intracta- 
bility, after the Eaample of the wife* Legifltton 
called in the Amrlance of ihe Arts aad Science* to 
civilize thefe lllandert, and by tnfpirtng them with 
PoUtcnela to teach them Submission. But this 
System, loo moderate and gentle ia the Kress of 
the Repahlk of Genoa, aad too muck far lha 
Honcur of the Gaatlemaa who planned aad fol- 
lowed it, ftstTCd up the Jesloufy at the Cotamifiary 
GrimaWi, aad. though him, the Distrait of the 
Genoese. A Scheme for effecting his Difgrac* 
wa* tat mediately formed. Th*y peaafed every 
An so set thu MsuiSty of Versailles agataft him. 
Every Plan of CtsndaA which ha laid down, waa 
t*yK*te»lcd as a Coafpiracy nod Scheme to earcsmote 
hie hasusdWs Aanbscioei All kit hcmtagly anabi 
snsssra Ssuaa, war* bcoagkt togethax to farm a real 
Crtwi. ThTTrauh of the* 
of kit FrssuwU ia rridaax frtjm tha Or- 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


helped improve the quality of Maryland's tobacco shipments, it also reduced the 
ability of some planters to produce suitable tobacco. As the Maryland Gazette 
pointed out, these consequences fell particularly hard "on poor Tenants, who give 
seven or eight hundred Pounds of Tobacco per Year, for their Rent, and will not 
perhaps make near that quantity good, so as to pass Inspection (for we cannot 
make our Tobacco Good as we please)." 54 Despite the problems the Tobacco In- 
spection Act caused for poor freeman and tenants, what Kulikoff fails to clarify is 
that this measure was just one part of a larger economic transformation that 
severely limited the ability of individuals to purchase land, become independent, 
and improve their financial state. 

Even more significant than the Tobacco Inspection Act in creating economic 
difficulties and social dislocation was population growth. As Maryland's popu- 
lation continued to expand, land became less available and less affordable for 
many planters, especially for servants whose indenture had ended and who were 
now seeking to establish themselves independently. In a vivid description of 
conditions in Talbot County on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the English Jesuit 
missionary Joseph Mosely showed the consequences of these changes. He wrote 
in 1770 that "I have seen white servants after their term of bondage is out . . . 
strolling about the country without bread . . . I've often seen poor, miserable 
abandoned families, in poverty want and misery. ... It has been a fine poor 
man's country, but now it is well peopled, the lands are all secured, and the 
harvest for such is now all over." 55 In an economic system based on land owner- 
ship, a reduction in the availability of land could have disastrous consequences. 

Conditions similar to those seen in Talbot County were evident throughout 
Maryland. Assessment records reveal that by 1783 non-landowners represented 
at least half the households in the older settled parts of the colony and large 
portions in all sections of the province. 56 Prince George's County underwent an 
even more acute upheaval than the colony as a whole. Between 1756 and 1771, 
population in the county increased by 27 percent, while the number of free- 
holders rose only 4.5 percent. Furthermore, 1765 land prices were two to three 
times higher than they had been in 1 725. As a result, less than a third of all white 
freeman owned land by 1771. Conditions became so oppressive, in fact, that 
even Governor Sharpe stated that "Vacant Lands are not now to be procured 
here, and the want of Employment at times reduces them to Distress. It would I 
think be an Act of Charity to suffer them to go where they may provide more 
easily for their support." 57 Some people pursued exactly this option, moving to 

Opposite page: The Tobacco Inspection Act of 1747 drove many small farmers from their lands and 
increased the number of poor in the agricultural counties. The legislation drew the concern and 
criticism of one writer whose letter to the editor appeared on the front page of the colony's only 
newspaper. (Maryland Gazette, June 7, 1753, MSA SC 231 1, 0-62-7-1, Maryland State Archives.) 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

places such as the piedmont in search of land. Others, however, continued to live 
in Maryland despite the difficult circumstances. For many who stayed in the colony, 
the only option was to become a tenant farmer, a very small number of whom were 
eventually able to acquire enough money to purchase some land or possibly a 
slave. But most tenants never had this opportunity and were left to a life of meager 
subsistence and poverty. A large plantation owner in Prince George's County, 
writing under the pseudonym "George Meanwell," summarized the economic cir- 
cumstances at the time. He wrote that "the honest industrious Planter, who has 
but a small Portion of Property; and the no less honest, but poor and laborious 
one who rents Land . . . makes a great Part of our People." 58 Not all analysts of the 
situation in Prince George's County and Maryland, however, were as sympathetic 
in tone as this statement, because in addition to causing great hardship for those 
farmers who were able to purchase a small plot of land or work out a tenancy 
agreement, the decrease in available land also exacerbated the more threatening 
problem of vagrancy. Because beggars placed an increased burden on the poor 
relief rolls and created a menacing social presence, Maryland's leaders viewed an 
increase in their numbers with alarm. Thus, when debate over the poorhouse took 
place in Annapolis during the late 1760s, the increased number of poor relief 
recipients was not the only consideration. Rather, the perceived need to limit 
presence of vagrants and beggars was also a significant consideration. 

While it is clear that these broad economic changes increased the number of 
vagrants and were pivotal in producing agitation for altering the traditional poor 
relief system, their relationship to the growing number of people on the relief rolls 
is more dubious. No doubt, as the population in Prince George's grew and more 
needy people appeared in the community, pensioners probably began to view the 
poor relief system in a different way. When Prince George's was a small jurisdic- 
tion with only a few thousand taxable citizens, the poor relief system functioned as 
a community institution. The justices were often familiar with the people seeking 
pensions and the witnesses brought to verify petitions. Thus, while petitioners still 
had to go through the formal procedure of describing their circumstances, the 
justices probably knew something about their situations already. Because there 
was little anonymity involved in the petitioning process, only those people who 
could convincingly demonstrate a need for public support were likely to receive a 
pension. Furthermore, people would not go before the court and risk the stigma 
of rejection and criticism if they knew their situation did not warrant relief. As the 
extensive availability of private charity demonstrated, it was important to de- 
velop and maintain social ties in this type of community, and people were not 
likely to risk losing them in order to exploit the poor relief system. 

As population grew and migration in an out of the county increased, the 
forces that had maintained the poor relief system began to weaken. The most 
significant changes came because, as community ties dissolved, the ability of 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


the court to select the most needy from a large group of petitioners became in- 
creasingly difficult. However, despite these important changes, there is no evi- 
dence that the court altered the strict definition of poverty it had previously held; 
nor did it necessarily become easier for "marginally" poor individuals to persuade 
the court to provide them with a pension. To the contrary, as the justices became 
less familiar with petitioners and the witnesses presented on their behalf, the court 
probably became even more discriminating in deciding whom it would provide 
public relief to. In fact, as the annual number of petitions grew, so too did the 
number of rejections the court issued. At the same time, while the court exhibited 
strong skepticism toward those petitioners or witnesses whom it did not know or 
who were new to the community, those pensioners who had clearly demonstrated 
their need for several years likely found it easier to obtain a pension. Though it is 
not necessarily inaccurate to say that long-term recipients learned how to ma- 
nipulate the system, such a contention is somewhat problematic if it is taken to 
mean deception on the part of the pensioners. More likely, a trust developed be- 
tween the recipients and the justices in a way that was not as available to new 
petitioners. Such developments help to explain the tremendous growth in the number 
of long-term pensioners that occurred during the mid-eighteenth century. 

The Theory and Practice of the Poorhouse 

Two central reasons explain why county governments began to advocate the 
construction of poorhouses and workhouses in Maryland. First, was a concern 
county governments had with the rising costs of the traditional system of poor 
relief; second, was the desire to exert greater moral and social influence over the 
poor. These two concerns were fundamentally about social control, and the need 
county governments had to reestablish command over their finances and social 
environment, both of which were in a state of upheaval as a result of the eco- 
nomic changes then taking place. Many of the problems developed because, in 
light of economic changes and the social dislocation that had resulted from the 
loss of available land, the very concept of "the poor" had changed. In earlier 
decades, when Maryland offered most people at least the opportunity to pro- 
vide satisfactorily for themselves and their families, the poor were largely re- 
stricted to the aged, the infirm, and the widowed. But as changing economic 
circumstances limited opportunity, a sizeable class of able-bodied poor who 
simply could not earn a satisfactory living began to emerge. How to address the 
manifest poverty of this new class of people while still maintaining a traditional 
notion of "deserving" poor proved a troubling dilemma. 

Inherent in the ideology of the traditional poor relief system was the belief 
that the deserving poor should be differentiated from the undeserving poor, 
and that able-bodied adults such as beggars should not be permitted to depend on 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

public support. Because of such long-standing policies, impoverished vagrants 
had not gained access to the resources of the traditional poor relief system. Never- 
theless, county administrators remained concerned over the problem of how this 
newly emerging class of people could be controlled if they were not economically 
sustained. In the construction of poorhouses and workhouses county govern- 
ments developed a coherent policy that addressed the need to provide for the 
wandering poor, while more importantly exerting greater social control over them. 
Most notably, the theory behind workhouse and poorhouse construction was 
that it maintained the public's responsibility towards the deserving poor while 
excluding and disciplining able-bodied poor beggars by suspending their freedom 
to wander from county to county and forcing them to labor in order to support 
their upkeep. 

The primary objective of the poorhouse was to provide a more economical 
method of poor relief — a policy that would, in effect, relieve the taxpayer rather 
than the poor. The poorhouse took the practice of assigning individuals to pri- 
vate homes a step further and arranged to have all recipients of public relief 
housed in a central location. In addition to eliminating the process of having to 
locate private homes for large numbers of individuals, the poorhouse was also a 
far more economical means of caring for large numbers of people. Once the 
initial cost of construction was financed, providing bulk quantities of food and 
clothing was less expensive than distributing pensions. In addition, because all 
relief recipients would be centrally located, providing medical care was easier 
for the doctors who no longer had to travel throughout the county. 

Management of poorhouses and workhouses was also based on the idealis- 
tic assumption that goods produced by the able-bodied poor in the workhouse 
would compensate for the cost of providing for them. Around this assumption 
supporters of the poorhouse believed that they could deal with the poverty of 
vagrants and beggars while maintaining them in a controlled environment. The 
workhouse, in fact, was as much a jail as it was a place of industry. Article two of 
the 1768 Act for the Relief of the Poor ordered the counties to "apprehend, to 
cause to be apprehended, any rouges, vagrants, vagabonds, beggars, and other 
idle, dissolute and disorderly persons, found loitering or residing in the said 
county, city or town corporate, who follow no labor, trade, occupation or busi- 
ness, and have no visible means of subsistence whereby to acquire an honest 
livelihood, there to be kept at hard labor for any term not exceeding three months; 
and the overseer of such alms and work-house is hereby required to receive any 
poor, appointed as aforesaid to be received . . . and employ them according to 
the tenor of such commitment." 59 In other words, a person appointed by the 
justices was actively to search for and remove vagrants from the land. 

Nothing in the wording of the act itself indicated whether people believed 
that vagabonds were lazy individuals who needed to be taught the virtue of indus- 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


trious behavior or whether placing them in the workhouse was more of a practical 
maneuver to eliminate their troubling presence. Regardless, the implications of 
this action were evident. As the composition of the poor changed in Prince George's 
County and across Maryland, the way that officials viewed them changed as well. 
Though the poorhouse still maintained the principle of the public's responsibility 
to the poor, one can also detect growing frustration and disillusionment with the 
necessity of providing for this growing segment of the population. Under the poor- 
house system, all people who received public support had to wear a large letter "P" 
on the right sleeve of their garment to indicate their impoverished condition and 
dependence on poor relief. This symbol served not only to prevent pensioners 
from abusing private charity, but also branded and stigmatized them. This dis- 
tinction was not reserved solely for the "undeserving" poor but was a symbol that 
all pensioners had to display. Furthermore, in the poorhouse, the overseer had 
authority to "compel" and "oblige" to labor, not just beggars and vagrants, but any 
poor individual "with sufficient ability to work . . . and to sell, and apply the 
money arising from such sale to their maintenance and support." 60 While caring 
for the poor was still accepted as a public responsibility, the practice now began to 
carry with it an added burden, and the belief was growing that the poor who were 
living off public support should work to help provide for their maintenance. 

Many of these alterations in the way with which Prince George's County dealt 
with the poor reflected fundamental changes in the perception of poverty. At one 
point, socially pitied people received relief because of their troubled situation, and 
the pubic poor relief system represented a community-wide effort to assist those 
who had no other alternatives. Strong support for poorhouses, work mandates 
for the able-bodied, strict behavioral codes for inmates, and the forced wearing of 
the "P," revealed a growth in the idea that the poor should be ashamed of their 
condition. These developments angered many people who feared that the poor 
relief system was both too expensive and inadequate to meet the increasingly com- 
plex problem of poverty. In constructing poorhouses for the deserving poor and 
workhouses for beggars (who were to be actively captured when found in a county 
that was not their designated home), Marylanders were attempting to bring the 
stigma and sense of localism back to a poor relief system they sensed was no longer 
firmly in their control. 

Embodied in the theory behind poorhouses and workhouses was the desire 
to combine more economical care for the aged, infirm, and traditionally de- 
serving poor with a more effective method of controlling beggars. These func- 
tions gave the poorhouse a dual purpose of solving two distinct but related 
problems. In the process of the poorhouses development, however, the distinc- 
tions that once distinguished the deserving from the undeserving began to blur. 
While the economic changes in Maryland created a new class of impoverished, 
over time the very philosophy that led to poorhouse construction also helped to 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

destroy the characteristics that distinguished the poor. The critical distinction 
between those who could work and those who were unable to work remained, 
but by placing all of the poor, regardless of the condition or cause of poverty, in 
one central institution, these demarcating characteristics became less important. 
Whereas the assigning process once allowed the general public to interact with the 
poor in an intimate manner, the poorhouse served to limit public contact with the 
poorer members of the community. The goal of providing for the poor became 
secondary to removing the poor from public view and thereby allowing the colony 
to once again give the impression that "the poore are sufficiently provided for by 
law there being no such things as beggars going from door to door for want of 
employment." 61 This new attitude was best captured by the badge of shame that all 
destitute persons from widows to outcasts had to display as a permanent reminder 
to themselves and others of their condition and their failure. 


1. Lois Green Carr, County Government in Maryland, 1689-1709 (New York: Garland Pub- 
lishing Inc., 1987), 359. 

2. Ibid., 361-62. See also Nelson Waite Rightmyer, Maryland's Established Church (Baltimore: 
The Church Historical Society for the Diocese of Maryland, 1 956) , 20-2 1 . 

3. Though records from the first two decades of the eighteenth century indicate that the poor 
relief system was involved in providing for young children, the orphans' court soon absorbed 
much of this operation. 

4. Allan Kulikoff, Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Culture in the Chesapeake, 
1680-1800 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986), 297. 

5. During most of the years covered in this study, tobacco functioned as the currency in 
Maryland and was consequently used in the distribution of poor relief payments. For a 
brief time, however, the legislature experimented with using paper currency, and in 1733, 
the Maryland assembly issued paper money in hopes that it would revive the economy. This 
change manifested itself in the poor relief system between 1736 and 1739, which were the 
only years during which the court did not make its payments in tobacco. See Kulikoff, To- 
bacco and Slaves, 113, and Carr, County Government in Maryland. 

6. Prince George's Court Records, P, 595-96, Maryland State Archives. 

7. Prince George's Tax Levies 1743-1760, 254, Maryland State Archives. 

8. Prince George's Court Records, FF, 143. 

9. Ibid., FF, 140, 272-273. 

10. Though most cases of assigning in Prince George's County consisted of a single person, 
some examples can also be found where the court placed couples or even families under the 
care and provision of a private household. See, for example, Ann Kirmault and her daugh- 
ter assigned to Captain James Haddock in 1717, Elizabeth MacDonald and her two children 
assigned to Thomas Stonestreet in 1717, Catherine Riley and her child in 1739, and Alexander 
Fraser and his family in 1747. 

11. Information about the procedure of assigning poor relief recipients comes from the 
county tax levies, which identify those recipients the court assigned, in some cases the name of 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


the caretaker, and also how much currency the court gave the caretaker for assuming this 
responsibility. It is certain that the court assigned more people than the records indicate. 
Inconsistent recording style and lack of information for some years is most likely due to the 
clerk's decision about whether or not to record the information. 

12. Prince George's Court Records, 00,353. 

13. Ibid., LL, 238. 

14. Ibid., LL, 240. 

15. See, for example, Major Lepprig keeping a bastard child in 171 1, Major Thorns keeping 
Jane Bannister's child in 1713, Major Thomas Sprigg (who served as a justice between 1715 
and 1725) keeping Lebella Grime's child in 1714, Captain Archibold Edmondson keeping 
Ann Flood's children in 1715, Captain James Haddock (who served as a justice in 1726) 
keeping Ann Kirmault and her daughter in 1717 and taking care of Elizabeth King in 1719, 
Captain Lerrie keeping Elizabeth Edmonds in 17 19, and Major Josiah Wilson, who was as- 
signed no less than eleven people between 1712and 1716. 

16. See, for example, Thorns Harwood (served as a justice in 1740) keeping Mary Wedge's 
child in 1734, 1735, and again in 1738, and John Hawkins (served from 1741 to 1754) keeping 
Elizabeth Wharton in 1737. 

17. See, for example, JohnBeale Jr. (served as a justice from 1730-38) keeping Joseph Brooks 
in 1 736, Alexander Magruder (served from 1731-35) keeping and burying Thomas Trottsman 
in 1734, William Dent (whose father served as a justice from 1730-57) keeping William 
Simms in 1736, Henry Truman (served 1740-55) keeping Ursla Smith in 1745, and Richard 
Keene (served 1741-54) keeping Mulatto Jane's bastard child in 1743, 1745, 1749, and 1750, 
and keeping Catherine Riley in 175 1. Richard Keene was also very active in providing goods 
(and being promptly reimbursed by the court for the cost of these goods) to poor individu- 
als who were not assigned. He provided "goods" to Elizabeth Crutch in 1743, clothing for 
Jonathan Lewis in 1744, clothing for Elizabeth Fennell in 1745, shoes for a "poor woman" in 
1746, "goods" to John Knight and George Weaver in 1749, and "goods" to Grace Nicholls in 

1 8. Prince George's Tax Levies 1734-60, 103, 1 19, 158. 

19. Prince George's Court Records, K, 657, L, 5, 382. 

20. Ibid., MM, 497. 

21. Ibid., LL, 238. 

22. Kulikoff, Tobacco and Slaves, 215. Chapter 6 in Kulikoff's work provides a thorough 
analysis of the development of a sense of community in the Chesapeake region and the many 
ways that these feelings of kinship manifested themselves. 

23. St. Barnabus Vestry Minutes, 1705-1773,pages 88-89, Microfilm M255, Maryland State 
Archives, Annapolis. 

24. Prince George's Court Records, CC, 139. 

25. Ibid., X, 86. 

26. Ibid., FF, 140. 

27. Ibid., FF, 142. 

28. Ibid., 00,355. 

29. Ibid., L, 385. 

30. Kulikoff, Tobacco and Slaves, 298. 

31. Prince George's Court Records, LL,61. 

32. Ibid., SS, 285. 

33. Ibid., SS, 48. 

34. Ibid., L, 5. 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

35. Ibid., H, 727. 

36. Ibid., L, 3 10. 

37. Carr, County Government, 364. 

38. Ibid., 360. 

39. Ibid., 360-61. 

40. William Hand Browne, ed., Archives of Maryland, 72 vols. (Baltimore: Maryland Histori- 
cal Society, 1 883- ), Volume 26, Proceedings of the Acts of the Assembly of Maryland, 1 704- 
1706, 117-18. This motion was considered in the Lower House between September 5 and 
October 3 of 1704. 

41. Carr, County Government, 360. 

42. Sharpe made this statement in a May 11, 1754 letter to Frederick Calvert, the Sixth Lord 
of Baltimore. Quoted in Archives of Maryland, Volume 6, Correspondence of Governor 
Sharpe Volume 1, 1753-57,66. 

43. Archives of Maryland, Volume 59, Proceedings and Acts of the Assembly, 1764-65, xxx, 
49-50, 62-63, 156-57. The Lower House debated this issue between November 1 and Decem- 
ber 20, 1765. The quotations provided are from debate on Friday, November 15, 1765. 

44. Archives of Maryland Volume 61, Proceedings of the Assembly, 1 766-68, xcv-xcvi. The 
decision to appoint this committee took place during debate on Wednesday, November 27, 
1765. Further information is available in the Archives of Maryland, 59:xxx-xxxi, 181. 

45. Archives of Maryland, Volume 6 1 , Proceedings of the Assembly, 1 766-68, 486-95. Debate 
over the counties' petition for apoorhouse occurred between May 24 and June 22, 1768. 

46. William Kilty, Laws of Maryland, Vol. 1, 1692-1784. (Annapolis: Frederick Green, Printer 
to the State, 1799). 

47. Archives of Maryland, Volume 63, Proceedings and Acts of the Assembly 1771-June/July 
1773, 401-2. This statement took place during the Assembly proceedings of June 15-July 3, 

48. Archives of Maryland, Volume 63, Proceedings and Acts of the Assembly, 1 77 1-June/July 
1773, (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1946), 303-4. Anne Arundel's petition and 
subsequent debate by the Assembly took place between October 2 and November 30, 1 77 1 . 

49. NArc/itves of Maryland, Volume 64, Proceedings and Acts of the Assembly October 1773- 
April 1774 (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1947),219, 259, 380-81. The quotation is 
taken from a debate which occurred between November 1 6 and December 23, 1 773. 

50. Quoted in R. Lee Van Ho rn, Out of the Past: Prince Georgeans and Their Land (Riverdale, 
Md.: Prince George's County Historical Society, 1976), 35. 

51. Since no tax lists are available for Prince George's County, I have used information on the 
number of taxable citizens as a guide for judging population growth. 

52. Kulikoff, Tobacco and Slaves, 298. 

53. Mary McKinney Schweitzer, "Economic Regulation and the Colonial Economy: The Mary- 
land Tobacco Inspection Act of 1 747," Journal of Economic History, 40 ( 1 980): 55 1-67. 

54. MarylandGazette,]une7, 1753, quoted in Schweitzer, 559. 

55. Joseph Mosely to Mrs. Dunn Jones, June 5, 1772. Quoted in Richard Walsh and William 
Lloyd Fox, editors, Maryland: A History (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1974), 

56. Gregory A. Stiverson, Poverty in a Land of Plenty: Tenancy in Eighteenth-Century Mary- 
land (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), xi. 

57. Horatio Sharpe to Thomas Gage, June 29, 1765, Gage Papers, William L. Clements Li- 
brary, volume 39. Quoted in David Curtis Skaggs, Roots of Maryland Democracy, 1 753-1 776 
( Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press Inc., 1973), 41-42, 49, 59. 

Poor Relief in Prince George's County 


58. Maryland Gazette, April 5, 1753. Quoted in Skaggs, 42. 

59. William Kilty, Laws of Maryland, Volume 1, 1692-1784 (Annapolis: Printed by Frederick 
Green, Printer to the State, 1800), May 1769, Chapter 29, Article II. 

60. Kilty, Laws of Maryland, Volume 1, May 1768, Chapter 29, Article XV. 

61. Archives of Maryland, Volume 26, Proceedings and Acts of the Assembly of Maryland, 
1704-1706, 117-18. This quotation comes from Proceedings of the Lower House on Satur- 
day, September 9, 1704. 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Ross Winans (1796-1877), Baltimore entrepreneur and engineer, built the strikingly different 
"Cigar Boat" in 1858. The ship's bold and controversial form defied the conventions of nautical 
design and generated a heated debate in the scientific press. (Maryland Historical Society.) 


The Cigar Boat: 

Ross Winans s Maritime Wonder 


From the time of its launching on October 6, 1858, the citizens of Balti- 
more came to Locust Point by the thousands — on foot and in carriages 
and by ferry — to gape at the strange vessel being fitted out at Ross Winans's 
shipyard near Ferry Bar. Its 180-foot iron hull — two feet longer than the city's 
familiar landmark, the Washington Monument — floated with its tapered ends 
just above the waters of the Patapsco. 1 It was, as Harper's Weekly reported, like 
no other vessel afloat. "No keel, no masts, no rigging, no deck, no cut-water, no 
blunt bow, or round or square stern. In shape she resembles nothing so much as 
a large cigar. Round the middle of the cigar runs a round ring, attached to which 
are flanges, set at the correct angle to strike the water and propel the vessel." 2 

With this streamlined vessel powered by four high-pressure steam engines 
and two locomotive boilers, Ross Winans hoped to carry passengers safely and 
comfortably across the Atlantic in four days. Though years would pass before the 
goals of this visionary inventor were fully realized, his vessel's unique hull shape and 
other novel features were well publicized on both sides of the Atlantic, stirring the 
imagination of the general public and the maritime world as well. 

The Winans name survives today only in a few Baltimore City placenames- — 
Winans Way (from Edmondson Avenue to Leakin Park), Mount Winans (be- 
tween Morrell Park and Westport), and Winans Cove (at Port Covington, Lo- 
cust Point) — but Ross Winans was once regarded as one of the city's foremost 
citizens, a brilliant inventor-engineer who built locomotives and other railroad 
equipment for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad that helped make it a commercial 
success. 3 

He was born of Dutch stock (original spelling Wynans) on October 17, 1796, 
the seventh of ten children, to a farmer in Vernon Township in northwestern 
New Jersey. His formal education ended at age seventeen, when he was appren- 
ticed to a hardware merchant in New York City. At twenty- four he married Julia 
DeKay and settled briefly on a farm near Vernon, the gift of his father-in-law, on 
which their three oldest children were born: Thomas, William, and Julia. 4 

Initially, Winans came to Baltimore to sell horses to the B&O Railroad (in- 

Wallace C. Shugg's history of the Maryland Penitentiary, A Monument to Good 
Intentions, will be published in the spring by the Press at the Maryland Historical 



Maryland Historical Magazine 

corporated in 1827), which used horse-drawn railcars. He stayed on to help Peter 
Cooper and Phineas Davis develop the first efficient locomotive engine, the "Tom 
Thumb." Thereafter he designed his own engines, including the "Crab," the first to 
use a horizontal boiler and cylinders, thereby reducing vibration; and the famous 
"Camel," whose superior hauling power helped the B&O conquer the Alleghenies. 
He also designed the first coned wheels, whose slanted tread allowed railroad cars 
to better negotiate curves; the flanges that kept them on the track; and the friction 
wheel, whereby the axle and its wheels revolve as a unit set in outside bearings, 
reducing friction. 5 

Ross Winans's mechanical genius was inherited by his eldest son, Thomas, 
who became his collaborator in the early 1840s and subsequently enlarged the 
family fortunes. When the father was invited by the Russian government in 1 843 
to oversee the equipment of its railways, he sent his son, only twenty-two years 
old, in his place to demonstrate a specially built locomotive. Thomas Winans 
stayed on to complete the St. Petersburg to Moscow railroad more than a year 
before his contract with the government expired. 6 He returned in 1851 a million- 
aire and then built a palatial mansion, Alexandroffsky, a long-time city landmark 
which stood at Baltimore Street and Fremont Avenue. 7 

One can only guess how or when the idea came to Ross Winans for a boat 
hull shaped like a spindle with pointed ends. 8 As an inventor of railroad equip- 
ment, he had designed wheel bearings that reduced friction to produce swifter 
rail travel. He may have naturally 9 chosen his boat's streamlined hull shape as 
ideally suited to move more swiftly through the water. According to a letter 
written by his grandson Tom Winans, "the idea of the cigar ships and the prin- 
ciples governing them originated entirely with my grandfather, Ross Winans, of 
Baltimore, and any subsequent experiments were only the elaboration of his 
original ideas." 10 Be that as it may, it was his son Thomas who actually con- 
structed the vessel, doubtless to spare his aging parent, who was on the verge of 
retiring from active business. With his father's Mount Clare railroad shops pro- 
viding men, materials, and machinery, the work — once begun — would have 
proceeded quickly." The site chosen was the present-day Winans Cove at Port 
Covington on the south side of Locust Point, not far from Ferry Bar Park. 

Even as the strange-looking hull was taking shape on the bank of the Patapsco, 
the idle and the curious came to gaze and wonder. Undoubtedly, there was some 
head-shaking, especially among those who had ever sailed the rough seas of the 
North Atlantic, but the engineering reputation of the family — the father, a found- 
ing mechanical genius of the B&O; the son, a builder of the St. Petersburg to 
Moscow railway — doubtless commanded some respect. The cigar boat soon be- 
came the talk of Baltimore and elsewhere in the nation, as its appearance in the 
pages of Harper's Weekly made clear. On October 23, 1 858, the weekly published a 
remarkable spread of engraved illustrations based on photos showing "the famous 

Ross Winans's Maritime Wonder 


Activity at Winans's Ferry Bar shipyard on the south side of Locust Point drew sightseers and critics 
while workers constructed the cigar boat. (Maryland Historical Society.) 

Winans steamer" at various stages of construction and after its launching. The 
images were made with the new wet-plate process, 12 which in itself suggests the 
importance of this shipbuilding event — or the determination of the Winans firm 
to promote their vessel. 

The editor of Harper's Weekly displayed a receptive attitude toward "this strik- 
ing novelty," saying, "if successful, she will inaugurate a new era in naval architec- 
ture." He then presented the vessel's features without further comment, letting the 
illustrations and the builders' description speak for themselves. By discarding masts, 
spars, rigging, and most superstructure, the Winanses hoped their experimental 
vessel would prove safer, faster, more comfortable, and easier to construct than 
any sailing ship with auxiliary steam power. Its promenade deck was small — a 
mere strip of the hull with four settees attached — for passengers while at sea. The 
streamlined hull, 1 80 feet long and only sixteen feet at its widest, was expected to 
travel smoothly through the waves (not over them) fast enough to cross the At- 
lantic in four days. At each end was a spade-like rudder, measuring four by three 
feet, to guide the boat and provide stability. The ship was built of iron to make it 
fireproof, and compartmented to lessen the danger of sinking in case of collision. 
The outer shell, being circular, afforded maximum strength. The two halves of the 
hull were joined by a flat iron belt extending out from the hull and attached to it 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

A head-on view of the cigar boat showing its unique turbine propulsion. (Harper's Weekly, October 
23, 1858. Courtesy of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore.) 

by numerous blade-like ribs. Within this protective belt rotated a ring of slanted 
vanes like a giant turbine. 13 This propelling wheel was attached to the main shaft 
driven by four high-pressure steam engines and two locomotive type boilers that 
could consume thirty tons of coal in twenty- four hours, the bunkers having a two- 
hundred-ton capacity. The whole vessel displaced 350 tons and could carry twenty 
first-class passengers who would be willing to pay a high rate for the swift passage. 
This favorable publicity, in a magazine with national circulation, was all the 
Winanses could hope for. 

But as might be expected, the Scientific American was more critical in its 
coverage of the cigar boat. "From its form it must roll awfully in a heavy sea. It is 
a mistake to suppose that it will sail through the waves smoothly," the first, brief 
notice said, and then added somewhat unkindly, "We think it will be perfectly 
unmanageable." 14 

Ross Winans's Maritime Wonder 


Designs of the controversial boat appeared in local newspapers and national scientific publications. 
(Harper's Weekly, October 28, 1858. Courtesy of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore.) 

The front page of the next issue displayed a large engraving based on a photo- 
graph of the nearly completed cigar boat plus longitudinal and cross-section dia- 
grams. After quoting the builders' description, the editors briefly stated their ob- 
jections: in the event of a mechanical breakdown, the boat — having no sails — 
"must lie a helpless log upon the waves"; its round hull will prove unstable, like "a 
barrel on waves or any rough water," its conical bow will not cleave the waters as 
safely as a clipper bow; and its hull, without a keel and being so long in proportion 
to its beam, will roll too much. 15 

The Winanses were stung by this adverse criticism from the Scientific Ameri- 
can, whose masthead, after all, proclaimed it to be "The Advocate of Industry, 
and Journal of Scientific, Mechanical, and Other Improvements." Their joint 
letter of reply took up nearly an entire four-column page. The builders faulted 
the editors' wholly negative appraisal of their boat's prospects, "in which 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

one-sidedness of opinion put forth to the public (so far as we are aware) you stand 
alone." 16 They then poured forth long and detailed arguments defending their 
vessel, the more important of which can be summarized. 

A complete mechanical breakdown is unlikely, the Winanses said, since any 
one of the four engines can drive the vessel at ten miles per hour. But if the boat 
should lose all power, a sail could be jury-rigged using the smokepipes as masts. 
Their boat was well ballasted against rolling by the low position of its heavy 
machinery, and the two rudders acted like a keel. Being tapered fore and aft, it 
would move through the water more smoothly than any ship with a clipper 
bow. The hull would rock (pitch) less because, being so long, it would be less 
subject to the rocking motion of the individual waves. 

The editors of the Scientific American responded with similarly detailed ar- 
guments, which also can be summarized: if the ship loses power, they said, any 
sails jury-rigged on the smokepipes would be too small; the conical bow would 
bury itself in the sea, whereas a "clipper wedge bow with hollow lines" would 
"lift it gently above the waves;" and the propelling wheel was much too large, its 
position wrong — a smaller screw propeller astern would offer less resistance to 
the waves. 17 

In their rejoinder, the Winans reaffirmed at length their cigar boat's seawor- 
thiness, safety, speed, and ease of construction. But the editors ended the ex- 
change, preferring, they said, to wait for the results of the vessel's trial. 18 

Nor were the editors alone in voicing doubts about the experimental vessel. 
From St. Petersburg, where he was carrying out the family's contract with the 
Russian government, William L. Winans wrote his older brother Thomas on 
January 4, 1859: "My only fear in this whole business is that Father & yourself 
may from interest & excitement be induced to risk yourselves too much in the 
boat before experience may prove it to be safe — You will be able to find plenty 
of people to go for you by paying them well." And then prophetically: "The Boat 
I feel sure you will find too small to stand a strong Blow on the Atlantick." 19 

Back home, as they tested the cigar boat's machinery at the dock, the 
Winanses could bask in the friendly publicity of the Baltimore Sun. When the 
propelling wheel turned at full speed (eighty to ninety rpm), the newspaper 
reported that "no careening or oscillating of the vessel was produced by its ac- 
tion. . . . The water was thrown from the wheel . . . with much violence and in 
large masses ... in a manner and direction . . . particularly well calculated to 
produce forward motion. . . . [yet] The action of the wheel was remarkably 
smooth and free from jar or unpleasant sound." Any fears that this iron-hulled 
boat with two fire rooms might prove uncomfortably warm were apparently 
laid to rest: "The ventilation . . . was highly satisfactory, the temperature not 
exceeding 54 degrees Fahrenheit at any time." 20 

The first trial run came at 1 1 A.M. on Thursday, January 20, 1 859, and received 

Ross Winans's Maritime Wonder 


Artist's conception of the Cigar Boat as she would appear during a sea trial. (Harper's Weekly, 
October 23, 1858. Courtesy of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore.) 

ceived enthusiastic coverage by the Sun the next day. "The steamer turned grace- 
fully from her moorings and was headed down the Patapsco. With a pressure of 
fifty-six pounds (half her capacity) a satisfactory headway was made. The points 
of the bow and stern barely touched the water, and the even progress of the vessel 
caused no commotion of the waves, but left a smooth wake like a groove." Upon 
reaching North Point (a distance of six miles or so), she headed back and opposite 
Fort McHenry "was greeted with a salute of six guns from the fort, and in recogni- 
tion of the compliment the steamer's flags were displayed and the steam whistle 
blown." A holiday atmosphere prevailed: 

The steamer, both going and returning, was greeted by the crews of 
all the craft in the river with cheers, waving of hats, and other dem- 
onstrations of a like nature. Besides the officers of the vessel . . . and a 
number of workmen, there were aboard Thomas Winans and Ross 
Winans, Esqs., and their ladies. The steamer returned about 2 o'clock 
and after playing about the open water, was returned to her moorings 
at the yard of the builders. The average speed attained was about 12 
miles an hour. The ventilation below decks was perfectly preserved 
during the running of the machinery and at no time did the ther- 
mometer rise above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. We believe the builders 
regard the trial as satisfactory, and a guaranty of success when greater 
distance is attempted. 21 

Surely, father and son felt vindicated. 

In contrast to this glowing account of the cigar boat's first trial the editors 
of the Scientific American merely observed: 

We learn from the Baltimore Sun that this steamer has made a short 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

trial trip in smooth water, and it is stated that it made about twelve 
miles per hour, but the whole power of the engines was not applied. 
From the published account we have not been able to learn any of 
the particulars of the vessel's performance, except that it was very 
lightly loaded, drew only about six feet of water, and that good ven- 
tilation was obtained. 22 

Clearly, the editors remained skeptical. 

Brief though it was, the Scientific Americans account of the trial run sug- 
gests a basic design flaw of the cigar shape hull: the vessel was lightly loaded and 
operating in smooth waters, yet full power could not be applied (in contrast to 
its earlier dockside test) because it tended to bury its nose, as the Scientific Ameri- 
can had predicted on December 11, 1858. This tendency seemed confirmed by 
the Winanses next decision: to increase their vessel's speed by lengthening it 
from 180 to 194 feet, adding to the forward section of the hull. 23 The effect of 
this change would be to shift the weight of the machinery aft from amidships 
and so lighten the bow, like the raised bow of a canoe when a solitary paddler 
sits in the stern. A sufficiently lightened bow would then allow full power to be 
applied. "She should in spite of the Devil go 2 1 knots per hour," William L. Winans 
wrote his brother Thomas from St. Petersburg on February 16, 1859, "with all 
Europe & America looking on, ... we must not spare any pains or expense to 
give it the fairest Run of a trial." 24 

By the fall of 1859, according to the Sun, several additional lengthenings 
were made, the vessel tested each time, until her hull reached 235 feet overall 
and she seemed ready for trials in less protected waters. Her first port was to be 
Norfolk. Thereafter, if all went well, she would visit New York and perhaps even 
Portland, Maine, in time for the arrival of the Great Eastern from England, in 
which case, the Sun opined, the port would then be host to "two of the greatest 
wonders of the marine world." 25 It must have pleased Ross Winans to have his 
brainchild coupled so with the largest ship built up to that time. 26 

After another trial run of twenty-five miles down the bay on October 12, 
the cigar boat departed for Norfolk on Friday, December 2, a voyage of some 
1 80 miles. 27 The long-awaited trial in <$peh waters took place on Wednesday, De- 
cember 7. According to the Sun 1 * the cigar boat started out accompanied by the 
U.S. revenue cutter Duane and tugboat Young America and steamed to Old Point 
Comfort in one hour and four minutes. Then to Cape Henry at the mouth of the 
Chesapeake Bay in two hours and eighteen minutes, returning to Norfolk at 5 P.M. 
Her progress throughout the trip was reported to be "steady, neither rolling nor 
pitching, but rising with greater buoyancy than was expected from a vessel of her 
peculiar shape and construction." Those aboard "experienced no inconvenience 
from wind and wave," while those aboard the tugboat "suffered considerably from 

.Ross Winans's Maritime Wonder 


her rearing and pitching." Then an experiment was conducted that seems unbe- 
lievable. 29 "To test the steadiness of the Winans steamer, a tumbler was filled to the 
brim and placed in a plate. The motion of the steamer was so steady as not to spill 
a drop of the contents." The trial became a celebration towards the end: aboard 
the cutter, refreshments were served,"conviviality and pleasantness ruling the hour, 
[and] Thomas Winans, the projector and designer of the new marine wonder, was 
toasted." 30 

Yet another trial in smoother waters — "for the gratification of the ladies" — 
took place the very next day and was evidently staged as a social event by the 
wealthy Winanses. An astonishing "70 ladies and 46 gentlemen" crowded aboard 
the vessel. "The steamer went out of port gallantly, and proceeded about ten 
miles down the river, returning in two hours. As the steamer passed through the 
harbor with her precious freight, the continual waving of handkerchiefs on shore 
and on board, indicated the general feeling that prevailed." 3 ' The presence of so 
many ladies among these well-heeled passengers meant the experimental vessel 
was regarded as reasonably safe, comfortable, and sanitary. 

But halfway through her return trip to Baltimore the next day, according to 
the Sun, a "very slight leak" occurred in the boiler tubes, forcing the boat to stop. 32 
The captain's logbook, however, put it differently: both boilers leaked "very badly" 
and eventually "gave out." 33 Rockets were sent up, the Sun continued, and a passing 
steamer notified the Winanses. The cigar boat resumed her voyage after repairs 
and nearing Fort Carroll was met by a tug sent by the Winanses in case of need: 

Three cheers and a shrill whistle, which indicated that all was "right" 
on board the steamer, was the only recognition the tug received for 
her pains, and the steamer shot past, and was almost out of sight be- 
fore the tug could recover from her surprise and put about for the 

city, slowly following in the wake the steamer, too proud to accept 

[help], came dashing up, conscious of her own power to outride the 
waves, overhauling everything in the shape of a water craft, and leav- 
ing them behind to struggle in the wake. 

It was, according to this lyrical account, a triumphant homecoming. 

Given the cigar boat's publicized success, why did the Winanses fail to show 
her off as planned in New York, where that other "wonder of the marine world," 
the Great Eastern, would soon be drawing huge crowds? 34 Such a trip of course 
would have meant venturing into the "Atlantick," which William L. Winans had 
by now twice warned them against doing in such a small boat. Though length- 
ened since its first trial by 31 percent (from 180 to 235 feet), it still had the same 
diameter of only sixteen feet and hence could roll excessively in heavy seas. A 
boat with twice the diameter would be needed, William wrote them. Until then, 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

he said, they should confine their trials to Norfolk and the Chesapeake Bay: "You 
will also there be able to keep the Results to yourselves if you should think best to 
do so, which you could not well do even if you went to New York." 35 It seems the 
publicity-conscious Winanses put off the trip for better news management, as well 
as safety. 

For the vessel had other weaknesses, and the place to look for them is not in 
laudatory newspaper accounts of the day but in the design changes made in 
later boats built by Thomas Winans, who took over the experiments after his 
aging father retired. The next cigar boat — only seventy feet long and nine feet 
wide — was built at St. Petersburg in 1865 for the czar in the hopes he would 
order an imperial yacht based on this prototype. Gone was the midships pro- 
pelling wheel, replaced by a conventional screw propeller in the stern. Another 
vessel of similar shape and size was built at Le Havre, but having two screw 
propellers at each end on four shafts. The largest was the Ross Winans, 256 feet 
long and sixteen feet wide, launched with great fanfare in front of thousands of 
onlookers at London in 1866. She had a large promenade deck and a propeller 
at each end attached to a central shaft running the length of the ship, turned by 
a single steam engine located amidships. 36 

None of these redesigned cigar boats had an amidships propelling wheel, 
the source of the original cigar boat's most serious problems: 

The huge rotating propeller wheel threw so much spray from amid- 
ships aft that it was almost impossible to stay on deck the shroud 

ring with its heavy brackets offered considerable resistance to motion 
in the sea, and the working [flexing] of the two half hulls about their 
junction caused cracking and consequent leakage. In addition, the 
screwshaft glands were difficult to keep tight. Another problem was 
the difficulty of coordinating the orders to the two engine rooms . . . 
before the invention of the engine room telegraph. 37 

A particularly dangerous problem here, especially for such a long and narrow 
boat, would have been the flexing of the two halves about the connecting shaft, 
which in a heavy sea might break her apart. This weakness alone could have 
dissuaded the Winanses from risking their vessel on a voyage to New York, or 
any other deepwater trip for that matter. 

And so the midships propelling wheel, one of the two most distinctive fea- 
tures of Ross Winans's brainchild, had to be discarded. But the distinctive cigar 
shaped hull persisted in all the later Winans experimental boats, like the fish 
symbol used by the early Christians to proclaim their faith. The streamlined 
shape was supposed to give the boat superior speed by travelling through the 
waves, not over them. Yet the nose of this whaleback vessel tended to run awash, 

Ross Winans's Maritime Wonder 


Winans's Cigar Boat anchored at Ferry Bar, portrayed in a detail of the 1 869 Sachse map of Baltimore. 
(Maryland Historical Society.) 

rather like the similarly shaped nuclear submarine today while running on the 
surface. 38 Partly because of this tendency, none of the later cigar boats ever made 
extended deepwater voyages. Ross Winans's dream of a boat carrying passengers 
across the Atlantic in four days would not be realized until 1936, by the Queen 
Mary, a vessel with a towering bow and superstructure. 39 

Nevertheless, the Winans cigar boat incorporated certain other features that 
would later become commonplace throughout the maritime world: the use of 
steam engines alone, not just as an auxiliary to sail; iron hull construction to 
make the vessel fireproof; numerous watertight compartments to prevent sink- 
ing; and forced draft ventilation to control temperature. With no experience in 
naval architecture, Ross Winans designed a boat that, however eccentric its ap- 
pearance, cannot be called a complete failure. Moreover, in the conservative 
world of naval architecture, where design innovations tend to be infrequent and 
gradual, its inventor set an example for daring and imagination. 

Ross Winans's inventive mind was undaunted by his cigar boat's shortcom- 
ings. With the outbreak of the Civil War in the spring of 1861, Winans — a South- 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

ern sympathizer — built that summer an armored, self-propelled steam gun ca- 
pable of firing a hundred balls per minute, a precursor of the modern tank. It was 
loaded on a B&O freight car bound for Harpers Ferry but was captured by Fed- 
eral troops and dismantled. Winans was arrested for his part in the affair and 
confined in Fort McHenry and later Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, where he occu- 
pied his time writing a book on theology, One Religion: Many Creeds (published in 
1870). He was released on November 26, 1862. 40 

Although there is no evidence that Winans was directly involved, the cigar 
shape was adopted by the Confederates for their David-type torpedo boat, 
equipped with a spar torpedo on the bow. 41 Designed to operate on the surface 
against Union blockading ships in protected harbor waters, this boat, not being 
submersible, needed the speed and low profile afforded by its cigar shape to 
avoid detection. 

Ross Winans's cigar boat seems to have occupied a special place in his heart. 
Even though she did not prove to be a practical seagoing vessel, he could not 
bring himself to break her up for scrap, not even during the Civil War years as a 
ready source for iron. Instead, he kept the vessel tied up at his shipyard where 
she remained afloat until at least 1869, as clearly depicted in the map published 
that year by the E. Sachse & Co., showing Ferry Bar point. 42 

After a brief sojourn in London, from 1867 to 1 869, Winans returned to his 
home at Hollins and Parkins Streets where in the early 1870s he wrote various 
pamphlets on religion, education, and hygienic reforms in housing. Feeling the 
years of physical decline now upon him, he made out his will on November 29, 
1875. 43 

He lived to see the cigar shape embodied in yet another vessel, the sailing 
yacht "General Sokoloff," built of iron and launched ceremoniously at Ferry Bar 
by his son Thomas on June 9, 1876, with over five hundred attending "and a 
large number of private carriages containing ladies." 44 But his various ailments, 
chiefly heart disease, forced him at last into a wheelchair. The end came in his 
eighty-first year at 2:30 on the morning of April 11, 1877, when he "died quietly 
in the presence of his family." 45 

His cigar ship remained tied up to her pier at the Winans shipyard until she 
finally fell to pieces, some of which were brought to the surface during the de- 
cade of the 1920s. 46 Today, Winans Cove is empty, save for the seagulls hovering 
in the sky above. The land adjacent, site of the old shipyard, is covered with 
grass and fenced in, posted with sternly worded signs against trespassing, fish- 
ing, or loitering. At the entrance to the cove, a double row of blackened stumps 
reaches out, barely visible above the waters of the Patapsco. 

Ross Winans's Maritime Wonder 



1. Baltimore Sun, October 12, 1858. 

2. Harper's Weekly, October 23, 1858, 677. 

3. Robert Keith, Baltimore Harbor: A Picture History (Baltimore: Ocean World Publishing 
Co., Inc., 1988), 59. 

4. Carlyle Barton, Jr., "Ross Winans: Railroad Engineer" (unpublished senior thesis, Princeton 
University, 1943), 1-2, 5-7. MS 916, box 4, Maryland Historical Society (hereinafter MdHS). 

5. Ibid., 9-10, 21, 37, 39-40, and Paul J. Travers, The Patapsco: Baltimore's River of History 
(Centreville.Md.: Tidewater Publishers, 1990), 142. 

6. Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Maryland and the District of Columbia 
(Baltimore: National Biographical Publishing Co., 1879), 46. 

7. Baltimore: A Picture History 1858-1958, Commentary by Francis F. Beirne, compiled 
under the auspices of the Maryland Historical Society (New York: Hastings House, 1957), 29. 

8. I have found no record of any other spindle-shaped surface vessel that could have inspired 
Winans. Robert Fulton's submersible Nautilus (1800) was an elongated version (without 
pointed ends) of David Bushnell's cask-like Turtle (1776). The sketch of Silas Halsey's cigar- 
shaped submersible (ca. 1814) was found in the papers of Samuel Colt, not published until 
1978. See Norman Friedman, U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History 
(Annapolis, Md.: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1995), 12,315, notes 3, 6,7, and 10. 

9. Without a model basin at his disposal, he could have conceived of his streamlined hull 
shape from the common observation of a long and narrow rock in a streambed creating less 
turbulence than a round rock. 

10. Tom Winans to Mr. Semmes, November 25, 1924, MS 916, box 4, folder 90, MdHS. 

1 1 . Ross Winans became sole owner of the Mount Clare shops on the death of his partner in 
1844. He retired in 1859. See Carlyle Barton, "Ross Winans," 49, 50. 

12. NThough no credit is given for the photographs of the cigar boat, at least one was made by 
David A. Woodward, a locally prominent drawing teacher and photographer at the Mary- 
land Institute [ College] of Art, who used the wet-plate process developed by Scott Arthur in 
1851. On this project Woodward would also have used an enlarger patented by himself in 
1857 (interview with Curator Tom Beck of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 
on January 13, 1998). 

13. Winans could have used a screw propeller, invented by John Ericsson of Sweden and 
othersbetween 1833 and 1836. See Peter Kemp,Encyclopedia of Ships and Seafaring (New York: 
Crown Publishers, Inc., 1980), 101. 

14. Scientific American, October 23, 1858, 53. 

15. Ibid., November 6, 1858,65-66. 

16. Ibid., December 4, 1858, 102. 

17. Ibid., December 11, 1858, 109-10. 

18. Ibid., January 22, 1859, 162. 

19. MS 916, box 22, folder 93, MdHS. 

20. Baltimore Sun, January 11, 1859. 

21. Ibid., January 21, 1859. 

22. Scientific American, January 29, 1859, 170. 

23. Baltimore Sun, February 10, 1859. 

24. MS 916, box 22, folder 93, MdHS. 

25. Baltimore Sun, October 4, 1859. 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

26. Launched January 1858. Gross tonnage — 18,914; displacement — 32,724 tons. Length — 
692 feet; beam — 83 feet. It was the only ship ever built equipped with screw propellers, paddle 
wheels (with separate engines), and sails. See Kemp, Encyclopedia of Ships and Seafaring, 86, 95, 

27. Baltimore Sun, October 14,December l.andDecember 13, 1859. 

28. Ibid., December 10, 1859. 

29. This writer remembers being aboard the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey, a much larger and 
more stable vessel, in rough seas off Cape Hatteras in 1 954, watching the water move about in 
a deep sink located below deck in sickbay. 

30. December 12, 1859. 

31. Ibid. 

32. Baltimore Sun, December 13, 1859. 

33. Logbook of "H. Vaughn, Master," MS 916, box 18, MdHS. 

34. According to the diarist George Templeton Strong, the Great Eastern reached New York on 
June 28,1 860 "to find the shores black with throngs excited over her arrival. In the first five days 
143,764 people paid to visit her." The Diary of George Templeton Strong (New York: Macmillan, 
1952), 3:37. 

35. MS 916, box 22, folder 93, MdHS. 

36. John Guthrie, Bizarre Ships of the Nineteenth Century (London: Hutchinson &.Co., 
1970). 24. The launching is pictured on page 23. The boat received extensive coverage in the 
British journal Engineer, 2 March 1866, 153-54. 

37. Guthrie, Bizarre Ships of the Nineteenth Century, 22. 

38. The cigar shape of the experimental submarine Albacore in 1950 and the later Skipjack 
class of nuclear submarines was based on an airship form. See Norman Friedman, U.S. 
Submarines Since 1945: An Illustrated Design History (Annapolis, Md: U.S. Naval Institute 
Press, 1994), 56, 60, 61, 249 note 12. 

39. Kemp, Encyclopedia of Ships and Seafaring, 189. 

40. Barton, "Ross Winans," 73-77. Pictures of the gun can be found in several newspaper 
clippings (undated, but from the twentieth century) in MS 916, box 4, folder 101, MdHS. 

41. Not to be confused with the Confederate submersible Hunley, which also had a spare 
torpedo attached to its bow, but whose hull had been fashioned from an old boiler cylinder. 
See this writer's article, "Prophet of the Deep: The H. L. Hunley," Civil War Times Illustrated, 
11 (February, 1973). Diagrams and a photo of the David- type boat clearly showing its cigar 
shaped hull can be found on pages 6 and 9. Winans's direct involvement would have been 
unnecessary since the Confederates could have remembered seeing his cigar boat in either 
Harper's Weekly or the Scientific American a few years earlier. 

42. Readers over sixty may be reminded here of the late Howard Hughes, who paid over a 
million dollars a year out of his own pocket to maintain his unsuccessful giant all-wood 
troop transport, the "Spruce Goose," in an airplane hangar from 1947 until his death in 
1975. See Charles Higham, Howard Hughes: the Secret Life (New York: G. P. Putnam & Sons, 
1993), 131-32, 323, 327. Robert Keith published this section of the Sachse map in his Balti- 
more Harbor: A Picture History, 59. 

43. Carlyle Barton, Jr., "Ross Winans," 81-84. 

44. Sun, 10 June 1876. 

45. Obituaries in the Sun and Baltimore American, April 12, 1877. Ross Winans was buried in 
Green Mount Cemetery in the family plot. 

46. Hambleton Collection of Baltimore Reprints (Baltimore: Hambleton Co., 1930), descrip- 
tion of "The Steam Yacht Ross Winans," item No. 170. 


"Intelligence, Though Overlooked": 
Education for Black Women in the 
Upper South, 1800-1840 


In the early nineteenth century, black and white educators established at least 
forty-six schools for free black children in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and 
Virginia. In proposing to educate black children and prepare them to lead 
their communities, educators offered an implicit challenge to slavery. If, accord- 
ing to slavery's apologists, justification for slavery rested upon the mental infe- 
riority of the African, then producing an educated free black population should 
have exposed the fallacy of the slaveholders' arguments. Educators sought to 
provide pupils with the skills and self-discipline necessary to be industrious 
and self-supporting members of the free black community. As teachers, black 
women played central roles in instilling virtue and knowledge in successive gen- 
erations of children. 

Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Americans had faith in the transform- 
ing power of education. Education, they believed, could instill virtue and moral 
fiber, as well as knowledge, in a pupil. The growth in black education came at 
the same time that opportunities for white children to attend school were also 
expanding. Carl Kaestle has suggested the possibility that nearly all urban white 
children in the early republic attended school for a few years, as did a substan- 
tial number of southern white children living in rural areas. 1 

Linda Kerber has argued that the ideology of Republican Motherhood guided 
women in education; as mothers, women were to be the earliest and most influ- 
ential teachers molding generations of children into virtuous citizens of the 
republic. Women quickly extended their educational role from the private work 
they performed within the household to the more public task of school teach- 
ing. Joan Jensen, in her study of Quaker women, defined the idea of teaching 
daughters, young women who acquired education and spent the years between 
childhood and marriage engaged as school teachers outside the home. For these 
Quaker women, Jensen suggests, literacy was a liberating force that propelled 
them into the public sphere and, ultimately, into reform work. 2 

Black and white supporters of education for black women embraced the 
idea that women were crucial to the transmission of knowledge and virtue from 

Ms. Johansen is a research assistant at the Library of Virginia. 



Maryland Historical Magazine 


Ha? the honor to announce to the pub- 
lic generally, that the UNION SEMU 
NARY, corner of Apple Alley and WilJc 
Street, is opened for the reception of 
female adults every sabbath from 8 till 
ten in the morning, and from t till 3 ' iu 
the after noon; taught gratuitously, 
Feb. 11. 

Teacher William Lively offered an academic education to Baltimore's free black children that emulated 
the schooling of their white peers. ( Genius of Universal Emancipation, February 18, 1826. Maryland 
Historical Society.) 

one generation to the next. The advocates of black education did not expect that 
women would confine their influence to the home; instead, they prepared women 
to take on teaching roles within the black community as well. As teachers, women 
could improve conditions for the race by imparting literacy skills, instilling reli- 
gious and moral principles, and instructing girls to be good mothers. And, as 
teachers, women could support themselves, a necessity that Suzanne Lebsock iden- 
tified for many free black women. 3 

This study focuses on the Upper South because it was a region in which 
slavery was a contested issue in the early nineteenth century. The growing free 
black population in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia suggests 
the discomfort some residents of the region felt about slavery, but the strength- 
ening of laws regulating both slaves and free blacks indicates a firm resolve to 
protect slavery. Literacy, recognized by blacks and whites as a measure of and a 
means to power, was a key area of contention between white advocates of sla- 
very and free blacks. Through statute and riot, whites sought to limit black ac- 
cess to education, while African Americans attempted to spread education more 
widely among the black population in the early nineteenth century. At a time 
when, Ira Berlin argues, the door was slowly closing on the freedom of African 
Americans, education was a crucial wedge used by free blacks trying to main- 
tain or improve their social and economic position in the Upper South. 4 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


The existence of several dozen schools for free black children in the urban 
centers of the Upper South provides the opportunity for a closer study of the 
education of free black women. But the sources that exist for these schools are 
also problematic. Aside from newspaper advertisements, a report by the U.S. 
Secretary of Education published in 1871, and the records of one academy in 
Baltimore, no archival sources exist for these schools. While the advertisements 
typically list the courses offered, they give no hint of how the classes were taught, 
what books were used, or how many students were enrolled, and only rarely do 
they explain the teachers' rationales for providing an education for free black 
young women. The secretary of education's report describes the teachers who 
opened schools for black children, but does not detail who enrolled in the schools 
or what subjects the teachers taught. Few analytical studies have been done on 
the education of free blacks in the early-nineteenth-century South, and for good 
reason: sources are difficult to find. But, this article should provide at least the 
beginning of a study of free black education. 5 

In his Notes on the State of Virginia, first printed in 1785, Thomas Jefferson 
argued that blacks were in imagination and reason "much inferior" to whites, 
and suggested that their deficiency of faculty was "a powerful obstacle" to their 
emancipation. His opinion, widely shared by southern slaveholders, provided 
whites an important justification for enslaving blacks. Suggesting that African 
Americans were incapable of caring for themselves, slaveholders adopted what 
they termed a paternalistic attitude toward their "servants." They provided slaves 
"protection" and guidance in return for their labor. 6 

Other Americans scoffed at the idea that blacks were inherently mentally 
inferior to whites; they blamed environmental factors for any supposed mental 
deficiencies. In 1804, Clement Clark Moore demanded how "the wretch," who 
labored all day "with the whip flourishing over his head, ought to be a poet." 
The Reverend Samuel Stanhope Smith seconded Moore in 1810, arguing, "Ge- 
nius . . . requires freedom." Antislavery advocates refuted Negro inferiority in an 
attempt to tear down one pillar upon which the institution rested. 7 

Even opponents of slavery, however, showed ambivalence toward the need 
to provide an academic education for free blacks. An anonymous editorialist, 
writing in the abolitionist newspaper The Genius of Universal Emancipation in 
1826, argued it had "been proved by intelligent teachers that the descendants of 
Africa are many of them as rich in intellect as the whites." Yet, this writer, who 
sought to convince planters that blacks "are free agents, and possess inalienable 
rights," proposed a circumscribed education for them. While recommending 
instruction in basic literacy for all free blacks, and advanced education for some, 
the writer's educational plan focused on manual education. The writer wished 
to provide African-American men and women with "some useful art or trade." 
Females above the age of twelve were to be taught how to spin, an employment 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

that would allow them to support themselves and to raise money to educate other 
African Americans. 8 

Although Americans debated the intelligence of African Americans, they fought 
more fiercely over the continuation of the "peculiar institution." The northern 
states, led by New England, moved toward the emancipation of slaves after the 
American Revolution. The revolution's rhetorical emphasis on liberty for all, com- 
bined with the relatively small role slaves played in the region's economy, led to the 
emancipation of all slaves in the North by 1 827. Representatives of more southern 
states like South Carolina staunchly supported slavery during negotiations over 
the new federal constitution; the Souths agricultural economy depended on slave 
labor. 9 

Maryland and Virginia Tidewater planters, though, were finding that grow- 
ing tobacco was an increasingly unprofitable occupation. Some abandoned their 
worn-out farms for new land to the west. Others turned to wheat farming, adopt- 
ing the same staple crop that northern planters grew without slave labor. Some 
planters in the Upper South, prompted by economic dislocation, the egalitarian 
rhetoric of the Revolution, or evangelical fervor, did free their slaves. Virginia's 
free black population rose from 12,866 in 1790 to 49,842 in 1840, while Mary- 
land's rose from 8,043 to 62,078 over the same decades. But, neither state ended 
slavery within its borders, and both limited the freedoms of free blacks who re- 
sided within the state. 10 

As Americans discussed the future of slavery in their nation, education be- 
came a critical battleground. Proponents of slavery tried to limit the access of 
any black person, slave or free, to education in hopes of protecting slavery against 
actual slave revolts or verbal attacks. The uprising led by Virginia slave Nat Turner 
in 1831 reconfirmed for slaveholders the danger of educating slaves. Turner had 
learned to read "almost miraculously" as a child and, white southerners sus- 
pected, had been inspired by reading William Lloyd Garrison's The Liberator to 
strike out for his own freedom. Consequently, slaveholding states passed laws 
restricting the rights of slaves or free blacks to gain educations. In 1831, for 
example, Virginia forbade "all meetings of free negroes or mulattoes ... for 
teaching them reading or writing." Blacks and mulattoes who violated the law 
would receive twenty lashes, while their white teachers risked fine and impris- 
onment. Having forbidden blacks to receive an education within the common- 
wealth, the state in 1838 decreed that black residents who left Virginia to receive 
an education could not return. Neither Maryland nor the District of Columbia 
explicitly prohibited the education of free blacks, but they did not encourage it, 
either. 11 

Standing in opposition to slavery's apologists in the Upper South were black 
and white educators who proposed to educate black children and to prepare 
them to lead their communities. These teachers challenged slavery by seeking to 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


demonstrate the educability and self-discipline of African Americans at a time 
when most white Americans doubted whether they possessed these skills. Support- 
ers of education for black women, embracing the nineteenth-century idea that 
women were a beneficent influence not just at home but in the community as well, 
tried to prepare black women for lives of service to their families and communities 
as mothers and teachers. As teachers, women would improve the race by teaching 
religion and literacy, giving young women skills to support themselves as 
needleworkers, washerwomen, or teachers, and training girls to be good mothers. 
The responsibilities educated black women took on, in the home and in the com- 
munity, mirrored the expanding role that some middle- and upper-class white 
women were also claiming in the early nineteenth century. 12 

Most of the schools in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia that 
enrolled black female pupils during the period 1800 to 1840 were coed institu- 
tions. Just six of the forty-six identified schools were definitely single sex. Given the 
black community's low economic status and relatively small number of well-edu- 
cated members, both teachers and students benefited from open enrollment poli- 
cies. Many coed schools, which were typically taught by just one teacher, enrolled 
eighty or more students, indicating the scarcity of teachers willing and able to 
teach non-white pupils. 

Schools in the Upper South that accepted African-American women and 
girls fell into two broad categories: the majority offered classes only in reading, 
writing, arithmetic, sewing, and religion, while a smaller number of academies 
that opened in the 1820s and 1830s taught more advanced subjects as well. The 
Sunday School Committee of the Pipe Creek Branch of the Anti-Slavery Society 
of Maryland was typical of most schools for black students. It taught reading 
and writing to pupils in 1828, and pronounced itself pleased with their "good 
conduct and diligence." A similar school founded in 1818 by the Resolute Ben- 
eficial Society of Washington, D.C., offered to teach free people of color "read- 
ing, writing, arithmetic, English grammar or other branches of education ap- 
posite to their capacities." The society's stated intention was to improve the in- 
tellect and morals of free black youth, and it promised to receive indigent blacks 
into its school gratis. 13 

At the other end of the economic scale, young women whose families could 
pay a moderate tuition could choose from among several Baltimore schools 
offering a choice of subjects comparable to those found at schools for white 
women. At proprietor William Lively's school in the 1820s, boys and girls could 
learn reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, history, geometry, com- 
position, natural philosophy, Latin, Greek, and French; young women could 
also receive instruction in needlework. 14 Up Sharp Street from Lively's semi- 
nary, H. J. Churchman and C. Leeke, two white women, ran a school for girls in 
which they taught reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, history, 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

H. J. ohus,ch:man & c. XiSbkes's 

Is now ready for thtadmstum of pupils. — In this School will be taught 




t FROM THREE TO EIGHT DOl'lJiRS per quarter. 

1CF Atari additions! expert, the TRENCH LANGUAGE and DRAWING will alsoj 
bo tayght if desired. 

BmUhuom, 2d Mo. SO, 1826. 

ftr.rEREvcE to 

Isaac Tvsok, 
Matthew Skith, 
Hugh BALPenaio-v, 
P. K. Thomas, 

G. T. Hopkins, 
Wm. Dallam, 
Joseph Tlrker, Jr.. 

H. J. Churchman's school for middle- class African-American children trained young women to be 
teachers. (Genius of Universal Emancipation, February 18, 1826. Maryland Historical Society.) 

astronomy, natural philosophy, and needlework. For an additional fee, pupils 
could also earn the accomplishments of French and drawing. William Kelsey's 
"Academy for Young Ladies," which accommodated "a few Genteel Boarders," 
probably offered many of the same classes. 15 

A comparison of course listings indicates that white and black teachers taught 
many of the same subjects at their schools for black pupils. For example, the 
schools taught by Churchman and Leeke, who were white, and William Lively, 
who was black, both offered classes in geography, history, natural philosophy, 
French, and sewing. These teachers did not leave behind written documents indi- 
cating why they chose to offer those classes, but they apparently agreed that black 
women were interested in and capable of mastering the disciplines. 16 

The course of studies at academies for middle-class black students was similar 
to that at many schools for middle-class white women. White female pupils at 
Mr. and Mrs. Wheat's school in Washington in 1832, for example, enrolled in 
courses in spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, chemis- 
try, and natural philosophy. As electives, they could add needlework, French, 
Latin, Greek, music, drawing, or painting. The Charlottesville Female Academy, 
which enrolled white young women, offered neither the electives in Latin, Greek, 
and painting, nor the core courses of natural philosophy and chemistry, but like 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


their black counterparts in Baltimore, girls studying in Charlottesville received 
instruction in astronomy and composition. 17 Thus, the schools open to middle- 
class African Americans offered most of the academic subjects undertaken by 
educated middle- and upper-class white women. No papers or exams exist to- 
day to document the quality of instruction young women received at any of 
these schools, but, at least in terms of subjects taught, educational opportuni- 
ties for a small number of middle-class black women began to approach those 
for their white counterparts in the 1820s and 1830s. 

Records suggest that at seminaries offering instruction in the higher branches 
of education, male and female students enrolled in many of the same courses, 
including geography, history, and natural philosophy; in fact, approximately 
two-thirds of the seminaries were coeducational. Only female students, how- 
ever, took classes in needlework and French, studies that were the mark of an 
educated lady, while boys instead enrolled in the Greek and Latin courses that 
prepared men for college. 18 Through their educational choices, middle-class black 
families sought recognition of their abilities, but they also observed the educa- 
tional gender line that separated male and female pupils at schools enrolling 
white children. 

Among white southern families, Christie Anne Farnham argues, higher edu- 
cation marked a young woman as "a lady worthy of protection, admiration, and 
chivalrous attention." 19 In a society in which black women were scarcely ac- 
knowledged as female persons, let alone as ladies, the black middle class of the 
Upper South made a bold demand for better treatment of black women through 
the education it provided. By calling black women "young Ladies," as William 
Kelsey did in his 1827 advertisement, or by teaching students French and em- 
broidery, educators, through word and deed, sought to expand the definition of 
"lady" in the South to include free black as well as free white women in the early 
nineteenth century. But, neither antebellum nor post-bellum white southerners 
were willing to accept this new definition. At the end of the century, according 
to Paula Giddings, black women would still be making the same unsuccessful 
demand to be acknowledged as "ladies." 20 

Among lower-class women, an emphasis on basic literacy, diligence, and 
morals was typical of the education received by white and black pupils in the 
early nineteenth century. In its 1819 report the Baltimore Orphaline Charity 
School stressed its emphasis on teaching white female pupils "the rudiments of 
education" as well as "habits of industry." Americans in the early nineteenth 
century embraced the idea that institutions such as charity schools and refor- 
matories could cleanse society of its imperfections while teaching citizens to be 
pious, pure, and hard working. For African Americans, the idea that education 
could improve society was even more important than it was for whites. By demon- 
strating their intelligence, piety, and diligence through the academic achievement 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

of a substantial proportion of the freed population, free blacks hoped to under- 
mine the false premise of black inferiority that helped justify slavery. 21 

But most free blacks, unable to afford private school tuition, had few op- 
portunities to attend school. As the number of free blacks in the Upper South 
grew in the nineteenth century, governments imposed harsh restrictions de- 
signed to limit their social and economic mobility. Washington prohibited Afri- 
can Americans from attending its all-white public schools until Congress ap- 
proved a provision establishing schools for black pupils in 1 862. Indigent blacks 
residing in the District could apprentice to service rather than attend schools, 
and the articles of apprenticeship usually required that students receive some 
academic instruction. Louise Carr, apprenticed in 1833 at the age of eleven to 
learn housewifery, was also to learn to read and write, while Sarah Buchan, bound 
to domestic service in 1837, was to be taught to read, write, and cipher up to 
subtraction. 22 

A handful of free blacks attended county-run free schools in Maryland. Ac- 
cording to state law, only white children could attend free schools, yet school 
enrollment lists indicate that at least one county school accepted African-Ameri- 
can students as well. Class rolls at William Mahan's school in Cecil County show 
that in 1823 he received payment from the Orphan Court of four dollars for two 
quarters' instruction of Elizabeth Hill, a "Coloured girl." The county paid the 
same rate for indigent white children whom Mahan taught. Maryland, moving 
out of a system of plantation agriculture, displayed a slightly more tolerant atti- 
tude toward anti-slavery activities than did its neighboring slave state, Virginia. 
The Missouri controversy fostered anti-slavery meetings in Baltimore in 1820, 
and the city joined several counties in sending memorials to the General As- 
sembly over the next decade supporting gradual abolition. Self-interest moti- 
vated part of white concern with the education of free blacks: Marylanders de- 
plored what they termed the low moral and physical condition of free blacks in 
Baltimore. Education, they argued, was necessary to prepare former slaves for 
freedom. Maryland's tolerance of equal education for the indigent white and 
black populations is remarkable given that even in New England, which had a 
negligible free black population, mob action forced Prudence Crandall to aban- 
don her attempts either to provide integrated education or to run a school for 
free black young women in Canterbury, Connecticut, in 1833. 23 

Educational opportunities for free blacks in Virginia were limited even be- 
fore the commonwealth forbade their education in 1831. In the state's largest 
cities, including Alexandria, Richmond, and Norfolk, authorities tolerated a few 
schools for free blacks, taught primarily by black teachers. These schools faced 
opposition from white Virginians, who feared they did not confine themselves 
to educating free persons. The example of one Richmond school illustrates the 
hostility of white inhabitants of the commonwealth to the education of slaves. In 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


181 1, Christopher McPherson, a free blackwho called himself "Pherson, the first 
son of Christ," hired a white schoolmaster and opened a coed night school in 
Richmond for free blacks and slaves who had the consent of their masters. 
McPherson's pupils, numbering twenty-five and paying a monthly tuition of 
$1.25, studied English grammar, writing, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy 
from dusk until 9:30 each evening. The school grew quickly, and McPherson 
took out an ad in the Richmond Argus urging "the people of colour throughout 
the United States (who do not have it in their power to attend day schools) to 
establish similar institutions in their neighborhoods." Several leading citizens 
declared it "impolitic and highly improper that such an institution should exist 
in this city," and forced McPherson to withdraw his advertisements. Richmond 
officials then summoned McPherson to court to explain why his school should 
not be shut down as a public nuisance. Before his case came to court, the police 
arrested McPherson and sent him to the Williamsburg Lunatic Asylum. His 
"crazy" idea of educating Richmond's black citizens ended with his confine- 
ment. 24 

In the aftermath of the Missouri Compromise and bloody slave rebellions, 
tolerance of schools serving the free African-American population waned. A 
rising tide of Negrophobia swept over the United States in the 1 820s and 1 830s, 
and states north and south began to curtail the rights of free blacks and slaves to 
learn to read and write. White northerners argued that allowing schools for 
African Americans in their neighborhoods would attract new black residents 
and lower the standards and morals of their towns. Consequently, they acted to 
limit educational opportunities for free blacks through force and through law. 
Southern states adopted similar policies. In Washington, opponents of African- 
American education took direct action, looting and demolishing schools for 
blacks during the Snow Riot on the night of August 5, 1835. 25 

The immediate cause of the Snow Riot was the alleged attempt of a slave to 
murder Mrs. William Thornton, the widow of the architect of the Capitol. But 
the riot's underlying cause was the growing wealth of Washington's free black 
community. Perhaps half a dozen free blacks, including restaurateur Beverly 
Snow and livery stable owner William Wormley, possessed assets of at least twenty 
thousand doEars. During the riot, gangs of white men and boys destroyed Snow's 
restaurant, set fire to the school for free blacks owned by Wormley, demolished 
several tenements inhabited by African Americans, and broke the windows in a 
black church. Although no lives were lost, Wormley and his school's teacher, 
William Thomas Lee, had to flee the district until President Andrew Jackson 
issued an order for their protection. If intimidation of the free black population 
had been the riot's primary goal, it did not succeed — both Snow's restaurant 
and Wormley's school reopened after the riot. 26 

A majority of private schools open to free black young women in the Upper 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

South had African-American teachers who saw education as the key to the ad- 
vancement of both individuals and the entire black community. Many undoubt- 
edly hoped that ultimately their efforts would help undermine the system of 
slavery that still threatened their own freedom. Of forty-six schools in Washing- 
ton, Virginia, and Maryland, that taught African Americans during the first four 
decades of the nineteenth century, at least twenty-six had an entirely black teach- 
ing staff. 27 

The men and women who opened schools for African Americans in the 
Upper South challenged strong white prejudice against giving free blacks any 
measure of social equality. In preparing black women to be educators and in 
offering instruction in classical languages or ornamental needlework, they ac- 
knowledged the emergence of a black middle class in the early nineteenth cen- 
tury. And ultimately, by proving the educability of African Americans and nur- 
turing the development of leaders within the black community, teachers laid 
the groundwork for a moral challenge to slavery. The leading role African Ameri- 
cans took in establishing schools for children of their race suggests the impor- 
tance African Americans attached to education's potential to end slavery. 

African-American teachers came primarily from free black families who had 
prospered in the early republic. William Costin and his wife, manumitted by 
Eliza Parke Custis, owned a home on Capitol Hill and personal property that 
together amounted to more than thirteen hundred dollars by 1 824. The Costins' 
seven children attended integrated schools in Washington, and the two young- 
est daughters, Martha and Frances, were students at a Catholic seminary in Bal- 
timore, St. Frances Academy. Two of the Costins' daughters, Louisa and Martha, 
operated schools in their father's house in the 1 820s and 1 830s. Another teacher, 
Mary Wormley, was the sister of William Wormley. William sent Mary to Phila- 
delphia to train as a teacher under the guidance of Sarah Douglass, a black abo- 
litionist leader. Mary returned to Washington to teach in the schoolhouse her 
brother had built for her at the corner of Vermont and I streets. 28 

The membership of the Oblates of Providence indicates the range of class 
and educational backgrounds of educators in the early nineteenth century. The 
Oblates of Providence was a teaching order founded in 1828 by several black 
women whose families had fled from the revolution in Santo Domingo. The 
sisters played a leading role in providing education to black women from a broad 
range of class backgrounds in the nineteenth century. 29 

The Oblates stressed the importance of education for the women who joined 
their convent. Adopting a rule that teaching sisters must possess a "sufficient 
knowledge" of the branches of education they taught, the Oblates ordered teach- 
ers "to spare no pains to render themselves capable of fulfilling their duty in this 
respect." They wished their novices to be capable of teaching at least reading, writ- 
ing, and simple arithmetic, but promised "a slender capacity will not be cause of 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


Elizabeth Lange (Sister Mary), born and 
educated in Cuba or Santo Domingo, co- 
founded a Baltimore school for free black 
children run by the Oblate Sisters of 
Providence. The St. Frances Academy opened 
two years later and is still in operation today. 
(From Grace E. Sherwood, The Oblates* 
Hundred and One Years [New York: The 
Macmillan Co., 1931].) 

exclusion from the society, as it is hoped that exercise will render the employment 
more easy." 30 

Several of the Oblates came from economically and educationally privileged 
families. Elizabeth Lange, one of the Oblates' founders, had been born of ra- 
cially mixed parentage in either Santo Domingo or Cuba and received a formal 
education before emigrating with her mother to the United States. Financial 
support from her father's estate allowed Lange and her colleague Frances Balas 
to operate their own school before they established St. Frances Academy. Jane 
and Marie Louise Noel, who entered the convent in the 1830s, were daughters 
of innkeepers in Wilmington, Delaware. The girls attended a Quaker school in 
Wilmington before joining the Oblates' order. Maria Becraft, who attended 
schools in Washington taught by two teachers from England, Henry Potter and 
Mary Billings, operated her own seminary in Georgetown for a decade. In 1831 
she joined the Oblates and taught English, arithmetic, and embroidery for two 
years at St. Frances Academy before she died in 1833. 31 

In stark contrast to the privileged background of these women, other future 
Oblates began their lives as slaves. The baptismal record of Marie Germaine, for 
example, indicates that she had been born into slavery. Information about her life 
is incomplete, but by 1 828, when she was twelve years old, Marie was receiving a 


Maryland Historical Magazine 



Little moser lfichat), SE. corner Pretton and Penn aye 
Litton Thomaa, tail maker, Bond, W side N of Wiik 
{•Lively Win. teacher, ( Sardine » W side 8 of Bank 
Liverpool, mra Sophia, Wilk * E of Strawberry alley 
? inesion John, teacher, Little German, E of SI 

William Lively listed his occupation in the city directory, where free blacks were distinguished by a 
cross preceding their names. (Matchett's Baltimore City Directory for 1827 [Baltimore: R J Matchett 

free education from the Oblates. In 1 836, Marie entered the order as a novice, and 
became a teacher at the academy herself. 32 

Other black educators included men like William Levington and John Prout, 
who taught schools in Baltimore and Washington respectively. The records that 
exist for African-American teachers in the Upper South suggest, however, a teach- 
ing corps of primarily middle-class women who had attended private schools 
and become reasonably well educated in at least the "three R's." Many saw teach- 
ing as a long-term career, and one that could provide them with financial sup- 
port as an alternative to marriage. Elizabeth Lange, for example, was probably 
in her forties and had been teaching for over a decade before she established the 
Oblates. Maria Costin, who opened her school after completing her own stud- 
ies, taught for fifteen years and still shared her father's Capitol Hill home with 
two unmarried sisters in the 1870s. 33 

Many white educators who accepted black pupils occupied a social space 
slightly outside mainstream society because of their religion or their ethnicity. 
Perhaps this distance allowed them to view African Americans from a view- 
point different from that of other white Southerners. Of the seventeen identifi- 
able white teachers in the Washington metropolitan region before 1835, one 
quarter were either English or Irish by birth. Antislavery sentiment had spread 
swiftly through Britain in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. In 1814 
about 1.5 million out of a British population of approximately twelve million 
signed petitions advocating international abolition of the slave trade. 34 

In the Washington area, British-born teachers included Mary Billings, an 
Englishwoman, who taught both black and white children at the school she opened 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


in Washington around 1810. The opposition of white inhabitants to the existence 
of a mixed-race school prompted Billings to restrict her school to African Ameri- 
cans. She maintained a large school, attended by blacks of the middling class, until 
shortly before her death in 1826. Mary Haley, a native of Ireland who taught on 
Capitol Hill in the second and third decades of the nineteenth century, also con- 
ducted a mixed-race school until complaining neighbors forced the black pupils 
to withdraw. 35 

Religious beliefs separated another white teacher, Mary Wall, from most 
citizens of her native Virginia. A Quaker, Wall was a member of a religious soci- 
ety that condemned slavery and the slave trade on moral grounds. After her 
husband died she left Virginia to support herself and her son by teaching a co- 
educational school for African-American children in the District of Columbia. 
Wall's opposition to slavery divided her from her neighbors on an issue that 
increasingly defined southern society. 36 

Quakers and Catholics in Washington and Maryland, as well as in more 
northern states, worked actively in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to 
improve the conditions of blacks. At least two of the three orders of white Ro- 
man Catholic nuns operating schools in Maryland and Washington in the first 
few decades of the nineteenth century also offered at least rudimentary educa- 
tion to African-American pupils. Although the Visitation nuns in Georgetown 
and the Sisters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland, both held slaves, the two 
orders also educated African Americans. Both white and black p oor residents of 
Emmitsburg came to the Sisters of Charity for religious education. Mother Eliza- 
beth Ann Seton taught the black pupils in a separate class, perhaps to assuage local 
prejudice. Records do not indicate whether the African- American pupils were free 
or enslaved. Evidence suggests, too, that the Visitation sisters might have taught 
both black and white pupils at their charity school during the first few decades of 
the nineteenth century, until public disapproval forced an end to the practice. 37 

Historians have argued that the Catholic church in the nineteenth century 
South followed a path of political caution. Already identified as "foreign" and 
therefore dangerous, church leaders preferred not to challenge social and politi- 
cal custom in the United States. Thus, rather than condemn slavery, the Catho- 
lic church in America provided biblical justifications for the system of bondage. 
Some Catholic nuns in the South, however, departed sharply from these apolo- 
gists for slavery. Freed from social conventions by their vows of poverty and 
celibacy, women religious could live the gospel value of charity and challenge 
the ideas of female dependency and weakness. The sisters took this opportunity 
to challenge laws and customs that restricted the education of black pupils. White 
sisters also formed important connections with black Catholic women. The Visi- 
tation sisters, for example, provided assistance to Maria Becraft after they closed 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

their own school. While Catholic priests held considerable influence over the in- 
ternal affairs of congregations, women could challenge these strictures, as the 
Oblates did in the 1830s. 38 

In attempting to operate integrated schools, white women such as Mary Bill- 
ings and the Catholic sisters deliberately challenged racial bias that might have 
appeared to them to be analogous to the prejudice they faced in their own lives. 
Like Maria Haley, many of the Visitation Sisters also came from Ireland. Their 
Irish nativity might have particularly inclined them to challenge bigotry, since 
they were themselves members of an ethnic group long considered "barbaric" and 
"primitive" by the English government. Elizabeth Ann Seton had faced discrimi- 
nation in her life; when she converted to Catholicism, parents withdrew their 
children from her school in her native New York City. Seton had to move to Mary- 
land to escape religious intolerance. 39 

At least some of the white and black educators who taught African-American 
pupils apparently agreed on the need to end slavery. While none of these teachers 
has left behind signed abolitionist writings, circumstantial evidence does suggest 
their antislavery feelings. 

Many Baltimore teachers at schools for African Americans advertised in the 
Genius of Universal Emancipation, the abolitionist newspaper published by the 
Quaker Benjamin Lundyinthe city in the 1820s and 1830s. Among the teachers 
whose ads appeared in the pages of the Genius were Churchman and Leeke and the 
Oblates, as well as William Lively. 40 Their willingness to associate themselves with the 
Genius in a slave state suggests the antislavery convictions of these teachers. 

Personal experience undoubtedly played an important role in convincing Af- 
rican-American teachers of the need to end slavery. Marie Germaine and Laurette 
Noel, both Oblates, had been born into slavery. Other teachers, including Louisa 
and Martha Costin and Laurette Noel's daughters Jane and Marie Louise, had 
parents who had been enslaved. In addition to Marie Germaine, other freed slaves 
whom the Oblates taught included Almaide and Angelica Gideon and Virginia 
Ann Foreman. Thus, many black teachers were well acquainted with the institu- 
tion of slavery and saw educating free blacks as a way to challenge the institution of 
slavery, to prepare free blacks to support themselves, and to lessen prejudice against 
African Americans. By demonstrating that African Americans were "as rich in 
intellect as the whites," teachers and pupils could weaken one of the pillars that 
supported slavery, the supposed mental inferiority of non-whites. Through giving 
skills to their pupils and encouraging them to work industriously, teachers could 
enable them to support themselves and refute the notion that African-Americans 
would work only when slavery forced them to do so. A more distant hope was that 
white Southerners who became convinced of the intelligence of African Americans 
would decide to oppose slavery as well. 41 

In this effort, the teachers of African-American pupils and their supporters 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


understood the importance of finding supporters who would bear witness to the 
accomplishments of their pupils. Every year, William Lively invited the public to 
attend his pupils' examination. In 1 829 the Genius of Universal Emancipation point- 
edly directed those "who persist in debasing the intellect and capacity of our col- 
ored population to step in [Lively's] school,and try if they can argue against fact." 
Public displays of the literary attainments of African Americans would, the black 
community and white sympathizers hoped, dispel the strong prejudice against 
their academic education. 42 

In the early nineteenth century, white and black Americans accepted the 
idea that schools could prepare children to attain higher social levels. 43 By pre- 
paring young women to be teachers, the black community began to prepare 
young women to challenge social prejudice that kept them in the least skilled 
and least desirable jobs. By instilling in female pupils the values and homemak- 
ing skills of middle-class housewives, the community challenged the idea that 
only white women could be "ladies." 

Educated black women received mixed messages about their expected roles 
in the Upper South. Some supporters argued that intelligent, articulate, and 
literate African Americans would help dispel white prejudice against free blacks, 
improve the status of all freed men and women, and ultimately weaken the in- 
stitution of slavery. This last step was precisely the impact that pro-slavery ad- 
vocates feared. Other white southerners expected education to have a more lim- 
ited impact, with black women continuing to work in menial jobs and exerting 
their influence only within their families and the black community rather than 
reaching beyond it. Along with whites, blacks also debated the extent to which 
women should hold public roles in southern society. 

Abolitionists and black leaders stressed the teaching role played by black 
women, as both mothers and school proprietors. In 1829 the Genius of Univer- 
sal Emancipation reminded its readers that the business of education was a vast 
enterprise and the need for teachers was constantly increasing. "But while there 
are so many pursuits more lucrative and agreeable to active and ambitious young 
men, there will be a lack of good instructors," it continued. "Let, then, the em- 
ployment of school-keepingbe principally appropriated to females." With abet- 
ter education, the newspaper argued, women would demonstrate their intellec- 
tual capability and their capacity to serve as suitable instructors of youth. Just as 
Catharine Beecher was calling on white women to improve the ranks of the 
teaching profession, the Genius editorial advised its black readers that by tem- 
per and habit women were admirably suited for the important task of instruction. By 
shunning "superficial" and "frivolous" acquirements, women could devote themselves 
to the serious studies necessary to fit them to be excellent teachers. 44 

Maria W. Stewart, a black political writer in Massachusetts, argued in the 
Liberator in 183 1 that if women stored their minds "with useful knowledge, great 

Maryland Historical Magazine 

Early home of the Oblates on South 
George St. (Sherwood, The Oblates' 
Hundred and One Years.) 

would be [their] influence." She encouraged women to teach their own children, 
and to hire private teachers to instruct them in higher branches in order to im- 
prove each generation and to burst "the chains of slavery and ignorance." Urging 
women to instill virtue in the African-American population, Stewart asserted that 
upon women's "exertions almost entirely depend[ed] whether the rising genera- 
tion shall be any thing more than we have been or not." 45 Stewart, like Beecher, 
contended that women's virtue, piety, and morality particularly suited them for 
leading roles as educators. 

Of course, not all black women planned teaching careers. Most were moth- 
ers, instructing only their children. Some women became members of benevo- 
lent societies for black women, such as the Union Female Society of Baltimore, 
founded in 1821. 46 Educated black women, like educated white women, were to 
share in the responsibility of providing for the welfare and training of indigent 
members of their race. Black leaders demanded that these women, who had them- 
selves been favored in fortune or birth, share the educational benefits they had 
received with others in the community. 47 

Yet, not all proponents of education for black children agreed that women 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


should hold leadership roles in the black community. Educators who subscribed 
to a hierarchical world view feared making black women discontented with the 
subordinate roles they played both as African Americans and as women. The same 
editorialist in the Genius of Universal Emancipation who called for women to be 
teachers also argued that the "great effort of female education should be to qualify 
woman to discharge her duties, not to exalt her till she despises them." Educators 
at schools for both white and black girls tried to instill in their charges the meek- 
ness and humility that seemed peculiarly becoming to Christian women. At schools 
for black young women, training in the humble skills of washing and ironing 
reinforced the low position of black women in the social hierarchy. 48 

Father Nicholas Joubert, co-founder of the Oblates of Providence and a 
strong supporter of education for black women, nevertheless envisioned a lim- 
ited role for the graduates of St. Frances Academy. In the school's prospectus, he 
argued that the Oblates' pupils would "either become mothers of families or 
domestic servants." In discussing how valuable Oblates' graduates would be as 
"servants ... to their masters," Joubert even used the language of slavery, under- 
scoring the subordinate place of even free black women in the South. He sought 
a strong role of influence for these women as they raised their own children or 
assisted with the children of their employers, although he did not envision the 
school's graduates rising above the roles of service that seemed to be their birth- 
right. 49 

But the order Joubert helped found played a crucial role in preparing women 
for leadership roles as teachers. While teacher training schools were rare in the 
early nineteenth century, the Oblates trained several teachers who opened semi- 
naries in the capital region in the 1830s; the education pupils received in both 
academic and ornamental subjects under the Oblates permitted them to offer 
advanced classes at their schools. Arabella Jones, who attended the Oblates' school 
and later established St. Agnes Academy in the District, was proficient in French 
and music, and had studied English literature. Other former Oblates' pupils 
teaching in the capital were Martha Costin and Elizabeth Brown, who assisted 
at Ellen Woods' school. Martha Berry established a school in Baltimore. At least 
nine pupils who attended St. Frances Academy before 1835 later joined the order 
and took on their own classes at the school. They undoubtedly taught their pupils 
the same lessons of literacy, housewifery, and "religious principles and . . . habits of 
modesty, honesty, and integrity" that they had learned from the Oblates. 50 

It is difficult to gauge the opinions of African Americans about the schools 
available to them. Few letters, diaries, or other written records documenting their 
thoughts exist in public archives. Literacy rates correlate to socioeconomic status; 
members of the poorest strata of society have the highest rates of illiteracy. Un- 
doubtedly, the parents of many children attending these schools were themselves 
illiterate and could not have read letters from their daughters had the children 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

sent any. 51 Moreover, few of the schools included boarding facilities — most were 
day schools, obviating the need for written communication between parents and 

Nevertheless, the growth in the number of schools for free blacks, the large 
enrollment of many of the schools, and the support provided to these schools 
by a free black population with limited economic resources demonstrate the 
significance free blacks in the Upper South attached to female education. In a 
newspaper advertisement, the Resolute Beneficial Society, founded by some of 
Washington's leading black men in 1818, expressed its faith that the free black 
community would recognize the importance of its new school. "It is presumed," 
society members wrote, "that free colored families will embrace the advantages 
thus presented to them, either by subscribing to the funds of the society or by 
sending their children to the school." The Oblates of Providence accepted stu- 
dents as pensionnaires — who helped with the housework in exchange for receiv- 
ing room, board and education — if they could not pay the school's tuition costs. 
The tuition charged at some of the seminaries open to African Americans could 
have riven the black community in the Upper South by providing some free 
blacks the chance to improve their conditions while leaving those unable to pay 
tuition to sink farther both socially and economically. The effort of African 
Americans to make education available to a broader class of students further 
indicates that they saw education as key to the uplift of the entire race. 52 

This pattern of sacrificing in order to attain education continued in the 
next generation of southern free black women, as the career of Fanny Jackson 
Coppin illustrates. Coppin was born into slavery in Washington in 1837 but was 
freed at a young age by an aunt. She worked as a servant in households in Massa- 
chusetts and Rhode Island while sporadically attending colored schools — she had 
an hour free every other afternoon to study. Coppin later said that she had an urge 
to "get an education and become a teacher to my people." After graduating from 
the Rhode Island State Normal School, Coppin became the second black woman 
to obtain a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College, graduating in 1865. "I never 
rose to recite in my classes at Oberlin but I felt that I had the honor of the whole 
African race upon my shoulders. I felt that, should I fail, it would be ascribed to 
the fact that I was colored," Coppin wrote. Coppin had a distinguished career as a 
teacher and a principal at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia. Her 
success helped pave the way for later black women educators, including Anna Julia 
Cooper, who received bachelor's and master's degrees from Oberlin in the 1 880s. 53 

Educators in the early nineteenth century laid the groundwork for the accom- 
plishments of Coppin and Cooper. By establishing free schools for the poor, train- 
ing middle-class black women in the same "higher branches" that their white coun- 
terparts learned, and encouraging young women to become teachers themselves, 
black and white supporters of education for African Americans sought to spread 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


literacy and virtue through the black community. As teachers and as mothers, 
women played key roles in the transmission of knowledge and values among free 
blacks. By acquiring the skills possessed by educated "ladies," black women sought 
to improve the status the white community accorded to them. Through their 
efforts, these educated black women trained a new generation of leaders and chal- 
lenged the false premise of black inferiority upon which slavery rested. 


1. Carl F. Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic: Common Schools and American Society, 1780-1860 
(New York: Hill and Wang, 1983), 39-40, 60, 14-15. Kaestle argues that the highest propor- 
tion of school attendance was in the small towns of the North; in rural New York, he esti- 
mates, 37 percent of children under twenty were enrolled in schools in 1800, rising to 60 
percent in 1825; Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic, 24. On education in the early republic, see 
also, Lawrence A. Cremin, American Education: The National Experience, 1783-1876 (New 
York: Harper 8c Row, 1980). 

2. Linda K. Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America 
(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early American History 
and Culture, 1980), 189-231; Joan M. Jensen, "Not Only Ours But Others: The Quaker 
Teaching Daughters of the Mid-Atlantic, 1790-1850," History of Education Quarterly, 24 
(1984): 3-19. 

3. Suzanne Lebsock, Free Women ofPetersburg: Status and Culture in a Southern Town, 1 784- 
1860 (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1984), 99-103. A majority of free blacks living in 
the Upper South were female, a statistic that meant many women had to find the means to 
support themselves; Ira Berlin, Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum 
South (New York: Pantheon Books, 1974), 177. 

4. Berlin, Slaves Without Masters, 101. 

5. On black education in the Upper South, see U.S. Office of Education, Special Report of the 
Commissioner of Education on the Condition and Improvement of Public Schools in the District 
of Columbia (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1871); C. G.Woodson, The Educa- 
tion of the Negro Prior to 1861: A History of the Education of the Colored People of the United 
States from the Beginning of Slavery to the Civil War, 2nd ed. (Washington, D.C.: The Associ- 
ated Publishers, 1919); Grace M. Sherwood, The Oblates' Hundred and One Years (New York: 
Macmillan Co., 1931); Berlin, Slaves without Masters; Barbara Misner, SCSC, "Highly Re- 
spectable and Accomplished Ladies": Catholic Women Religious in America, 1 790—1 850 (New 
York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1988); Diane Batts Morrow,"The Oblate Sisters of Providence: 
Issues of Black and Female Agency in their Antebellum Experience" (PhD diss., University of 
Georgia-Athens, 1996). 

6. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1976; 
orig. pub., 1861; first printed, 1785), 132-39; Eric L. McKitrick, ed., Slavery Defended: The 
Views of the Old South (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1 963), 1 22-23; see also, Larry E. 
Tise, Proslavery: A History of the Defense of Slavery in America, 1 701-1 840 (Athens: University 
of Georgia Press, 1987), xv, 107-10. On the paternalism of slaveholders, see Eugene D. Genovese, 
Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaveholders Made (New York: Vintage Books, 1971), 3-7. 

7. Winthrop D. Jordan, White over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1 550—1812 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early American History 
and Culture, 1968), 442-43. 

8. Anonymous, "Education of the Colored People," Genius of Universal Emancipation, Au- 
gust 16, 1826. 

9. James Brewer Stewart, Holy Warriors: The Abolitionists and American Slavery, rev. ed. 
(New York: Hill and Wang, 1997), 1 1-33. 

10. Allan Kulikoff, Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesa- 
peake, 1680-1800 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press for the Institute of Early 
American History and Culture, 1986), 428-32; Department of Commerce, Bureau of the 
Census, Negro Population, 1790-1915 (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of the Census, 1918), 57. 
On the promulgation of laws against free blacks, see, Berlin, Slaves Without Masters; Jane 
Purcell Guild, Black Laws of Virginia: A Summary of the Legislative Acts of Virginia Concern- 
ing Negroes from Earliest Times to the Present (New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969; 
orig. pub. 1936). 

1 1 . Herbert Aptheker, Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion, Together with the Full Text of the so-called 
"Confessions" of Nat Turner made in person in 1831 (New York: Published for A.I. M.S. by 
Humanities Press, [1966]), 127-52; David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861 (New 
York: Harper and Row, 1976), 454; Supplement to the Revised Code of the Laws of Virginia: 
Being a Collection of All the Acts of the General Assembly of a Public and Permanent Nature, 
Passed Since the Year 1819, With a General Index (Richmond: Printed by Samuel Shepard & 
Co., 1833), 245; Guild, Black Laws of Virginia, 1 12; Robert J. Brugger, Maryland: A Middle 
Temperament, 1634-1980 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press for the Maryland 
Historical Society, 1988), 266. On the obstacles African Americans in the Upper South faced 
as they sought educational opportunities, see also Henry Allen Bullock, A History of Negro 
Education in the South: From 1619 to the Present (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University 
Press, 1967), 13-15; Thomas L. Webber, Deep Like the River: Education in the Slave Quarter 
Community, 1831-1865 (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1978), 44; Jane Duitsman 
Cornelius, "When I Can Read My Title Clear": Literacy, Slavery, and Religion in the Antebel- 
lum South (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1991), 12, 15, 32-33; 
Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, 323—55; Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass: The Narrative 
and Other Writings, ed., Michael Meyer (New York: Random House, 1984), 46-48. 

12. On the schools that provided educatio n to African Americans, see U.S. Office of Educa- 
tion, Special Report, passim; Woodson, Education of the Negro Prior to 1861, passim; M. B. 
Goodwin, History of Schools for the Colored Population (New York: Arno Press and the New 
York Times, 1 969), passim; and The Genius of Universal Emancipation, ed. Benjamin Lundy, 
1825-1831. In addition to claiming improved educational opportunities in order to be repub- 
lican mothers, in the early nineteenth century women also demanded better educations in 
order to be evangelical women. Kerber, Women of the Republic, 185-23 1; Leonard I. Sweet, 
"The Female Seminary Movement and Women's Mission in Antebellum America," Church 
History, 54 (1985): 41-55. Women also began to organize into benevolent societies; see Nancy 
F. Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood: "Woman's Sphere" in New England, 1780-1855 (New 
Haven: Yale University Press, 1977), 140-46, 149-59; Lebsock, Free Women of Petersburg, 195— 

On women's education in the South in particular, see Christie Anne Farnham, The Edu- 
cation of the Southern Belle: Higher Education and Student Socialization in the Antebellum 
South (New York: New York University Press, 1994); Mary Carroll Johansen, '"Female In- 
struction and Improvement': Education for Young Women in Maryland, Virginia, and the 
District of Columbia, 1785-1835" (PhD diss., College of William and Mary, 1996). 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


13. U.S. Office of Education, Special Report, 197-98. Of the forty-six schools in my study, 
approximately one-quarter offered instruction beyond the three R's; advertisements for sev- 
eral other schools do not list the classes taught, so it is possible that the number of schools 
providing advanced classes is actually slightly larger than one in four. 

14. Advertisements for the"Union Seminary," February 1 1, 1826, May 24, 1828, July 12, 1828, 
July 26, 1828, Genius of Universal Emancipation. 

15. Advertisements for the "Union Seminary," July 26, 1 828, "H. J. Churchman and C. Leeke's 
School for Girls," February 25, 1826, and January 26, 1828, "Education," August 25, 1827. 
Tuition at Churchman and Leeke's school was $3 to $8 per quarter. 

16. "H. J. Churchman and C. Leeke's School for Girls," February 25, 1826, and "Union Semi- 
nary," May 24, 1828, Genius of Universal Emancipation. 

17. Advertisements for"Female Department," United States Telegraph, September 19, 1832, 
"Charlottesville Female Academy," Richmond Enquirer, January 3, 1826; see also "Monte 
Video Female Seminary," Rockingham Register, November 9, 1 833. 

18. Advertisements for "H. J. Churchman and C. Leeke's School for Girls," February 25, 1826, 
the Union Seminary, May 24, 1828, and the School for Girls of Color, January 8, 1829, 
Genius of Universal Emancipation; and Woodson, Education of the Negro, 134. Barbara Miller 
Solomon points out that while female educators wanted to prove women could undertake 
any course of study that men learned, efforts to include ancient languages in the curricula 
of female academies met with initial opposition. But, according to Thomas Woody, by the 
period 1830 to 1870, the best female institutions offered most of the classes taught at men's 
colleges. Solomon, In the Company of Educated Women: A History of Women and Higher 
Education in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), 22-23; Woody, A History of 
Women's Education in the United States, I (New York: Octagon Books Inc., 1966; orig. pub. 
1929), Appendix II. 

19. Farnham, Education of the Southern Belle, 3. 

20. Advertisements for: "Education," August 25, 1827, "H. J. Churchman and C. Leeke's 
Schools for Girls," January 26, 1828, and "School for Girls of Color," January 8, 1829, Genius 
of Universal Emancipation; Deborah Gray White, Ar'n't I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the 
Plantation South (New York: W.W.Norton &Co., 1985), 27-46; Giddings, When and Where 
I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America (New York: Quill, 1984), 85- 

21. "A Report of the Orphaline Charity School of Baltimore" ( 1919), 2, Jonas R. Rappeport 
Collection, Records of the Baltimore Charity Schools and Homes, 1807-1881, SC 731, 
Maryland State Archives; Joel Spring, The American School, 1642-1990: Varieties of Histori- 
cal Interpretation of the Foundations and Development of American Education, 4th ed. (New 
York: Longman, 1990), 50-5 1, 53, 57-59. 

22. Letitia Woods Brown, Free Negroes in the District of Columbia, 1790-1846 (New York: 
Oxford University Press, 1972), 136-37. On the increasingly restrictive laws governing free 
blacks in the Upper and Lower South in the nineteenth century, see Berlin, Slaves Without 
Masters, 99. 

23. Office of Education, Special Report, 65; Receipt of William Mahan, April 7, 1823, Cecil 
Co., Md., Orphans Court Papers, Duke University; Brugger, Middle Temperament, 210-11; 
Philip S. Foner and Josephine F. Pacheco, Three Who Dared: Prudence Crandall, Margaret 
Douglass, Myrtilla Miner — Champions of Antebellum Black Education (Westport, Conn.: Green- 
wood Press, 1984), 9-30. For a discussion of slavery's decline in Maryland, see Brugger, 
Middle Temperament, 11, 12-13, 206-15. The receipt for Mahan's school shows that he also 
received tuition payments for two "Coloured" boys. 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

24. Goodwin, History of Schools, 283, 394; Charles L. Perdue et al., eds., Weevils in the Wheat: 
Interviews with Virginia Ex-slaves (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1976), 18; 
Berlin, Slaves Without Masters, 76-78. 

25. Gary B. Nash, Forging Freedom: The Formation of Philadelphia's Black Community, 1720— 
1840 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988), 223-25, 326-329, esp. 273-74; 
Cornelius, "When I Can Read My Title Clear," 29; Foner and Pacheco, Three Who Dared, xiv, 
xvi; U.S. Office of Education, Special Report, 65. 

26. National Intelligencer, August 6, 1 1-15, 20, 28, 1835; David L. Lewis, District of Columbia: 
A Bicentennial History (New York: W. W. Norton 8c Company, 1976), 48; Constance 
McLaughlin Green, Washington, I, Village and Capital, 1800-1878 (Princeton: Princeton Uni- 
versity Press, 1962), 141^12; U.S. Office of Education, Specia/ .Report, 65,212. 

27. U.S. Office of Education, Special Report, 65, 195-2 1 5; Woodson, Education of the Negro, 

28. William Costin, 4th Ward, Corporation of Washington, Tax Book, 1824, Record Group 
351, Records of the District of Columbia, National Archives; Office of Education, Special 
Report, 203^4, 211-12; Mary Wormley, William Wormley, 1st Ward, Corporation of Wash- 
ington, Tax Book, 1831, Record Group 351, Records of the District of Columbia, National 

29. Sherwood, Oblates' Hundred and One Years, 22-23. 

30. Batts Morrow, "Oblate Sisters," Appendix I. 

3 1. Batts Morrow, "Oblate Sisters," 26-27, 96-98; Office of Education, Special Report, 204; "A 
Translation of the Original Diary of the Oblate Sisters of Providence," December 16, 1833, 
Archives of the Josephite Fathers, Baltimore, Maryland. 

32. Batts Morrow, "Oblate Sisters," 1 54-55; "Enfants recus gratuissement," Fr. Joubert's Ac- 
count Book, Oblate Sisters of Providence Archives, Baltimore, Md.; Chronology of the 
Members of the Sisters of Providence, Oblate Sisters of Providence Archives. 

33. U.S. Census Office, Fifth Census, 1830, Baltimore City; Office of Education, Special Re- 
port, 199, 204; Batts Morrow, "Oblate Sisters," 26-27. 

34. U.S. Office of Education, Special Report, 65, 196, 198, 199,212; James Wahin, England, 
Slaves andFreedom, 1776-1838 (Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 1986), 97, 126. 

35. U.S. Office of Education, Special Report, 199,196. 

36. Ibid., 212. 

37. Woodson, Education of the Negro, 108; U.S. Office of Education, Special Report, 196,199; 
Sister Mary Regis Hoare, Virgin Soil: Mother Seton from a Different Point of View (Boston: 
Christopher Publishing House, 1942), 129-30; Mada-Anne Gell.VHM, "Georgetown Visi- 
tation: The Myth of the Visiting School," Salesian Living Heritage (Spring, 1986), 34-36. 
Records do not indicate whether Seton taught her pupils to read in addition to giving them 
religious instruction, but it was typical for Sunday schools to teach reading to enable their 
pupils to review the catechism on their own. 

38. Richard R. Duncan,"Catholics and the Church in the Upper South," 87, Ronald M. Miller, 
"The Failed Mission: The Catholic Church and Black Catholics in the Old South," 152, 156— 
57, and Sister Frances Jerome Woods, C.D.P., "Congregations of Religious Women in the Old 
South," 109, 122, in Randall M. Miller and Jon L. Wakelyn, eds., Catholics in the Old South: 
Essays on Church and Culture (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1983). 

39. U.S. Office of Education, Special Report, 296, Gell, "Georgetown Visitation," Salesian Living 
Heritage, 31; Nicholas Canny, Kingdom and Colony: Ireland in the Atlantic World, 1560-1800 
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988), 35—37; Hoare, Virgin Soil, 40. 

40. "H. J. Churchman and C. Leeke's School for Girls," February 25, 1826, "A School for Girls 

Education for Black Women in the Upper South, 1800-1840 


of Color," January 8, 1 829, "Union Seminary," May 24, 1 828, Genius of Universal Emancipa- 
tion. Other teachers advertising in the pages of the Genius included William Kelsey (August 25, 
1827) and J. J. Thompson (July 19, 1828). 

41. Batts Morrow, "Oblate Sisters," 155, 156; "Education of the Colored People," Genius of 
Universal Emancipation, August 12, 1826. On the alleged laziness of slaves, see Genovese, 
Roll, Jordan, Roll, 298-309. 

42. "Union Seminary," July 26, 1828, "African School," November 6, 1829, Genius of Universal 

43. Spring, American School, 51. 

44. "Female Education," Genius of Universal Emancipation, September 2, 1829; Catharine 
Beecher, Suggestions Regarding Improvements in Education Presented to the Trustees of the 
Hartford Female Seminary (Hartford, Conn., 1829). 

As Suzanne Lebsock points out, free black women had few employment opportunities in 
the early nineteenth century; most became seamstresses or washers. Lebsock, Free Women of 
Petersburg, 97-99. Teaching was a skilled and more "respectable" occupation, but it was an 
option available to only a small number of African- American women. 

45. Maria W. Stewart, Maria W. Stewart, America's First Black Woman Political Writer: Essays 
and Speeches, ed. Marilyn Richardson (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 31- 
32, 36,30,55. 

46. "Education of the Colored People," Genius of Universal Emancipation, August 26, 1826. 

47. See also Stewart, America's First Black Woman Political Writer, ed. Richardson, 127-28. 

48. "Female Education," September 2, 1829, "School for Girls of Color," January 8, 1829, 
Genius of Universal Emancipation. 

49. Sherwood, Oblates' Hundred and One Years, 35-36; Batts Morrow, "Oblate Sisters," Ap- 
pendix 1. 

50. Sherwood, Oblates' Hundred and One Years, 34, 36. 

51. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, 563. 

52. U.S. Office of Education, Special Report, 197-98; "Translation of the Oblates' Diary," 
January 1, 1836. For a discussion of education as a benefit to the African-American race, see 
Linda Perkins, "Black Women and Race 'Uplift' Prior to Emancipation," Black Women in 
United States History: From Colonial Times Through the Nineteenth Century, ed. Darlene 
Clark Hine (Brooklyn, NY: Carlson Publishing, 1990), 3:1077-94. 

Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham notes the hegemonic nature of "race uplift" in "African- 
American Women's History and the Metalanguage of Race," Signs, 17 (1992): 271-72. 

53. LeslieS. Fishel Jr., "Fanny Jackson Co^in" Notable American Women 1607-1950, 1, ed., 
Edward T. James et al. (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971), 
383-85; Bert James Loewenberg and Ruth Bogin, ed., Black Women in Nineteenth-Century 
American Life (University Park: Penn State University Press, 1976), 306; Solomon, In the 
Company of Educated Women, 76. 


Edgar Allan Poe's Baltimore 


Nineteenth-century poet and au- 
thor Edgar Allan Poe (1801-49) was one 
of the most renowned American writ- 
ers, yet numerous myths surround his 
life. One such myth suggests that Poe's 
residence in Baltimore was a lengthy 
one, yet the writer lived in Baltimore 
only briefly, from 1831 to 1836. In the 
years prior to and following his sojourn 
in Baltimore, Poe also lived and worked 
in Boston, New York, and Richmond. 

Born in Boston in 1809, Poe was 
raised in Richmond by merchant John 
Allan, following the death of his parents. 
While studying at the University of Vir- 
ginia, Edgar's relationship with his fos- 
ter father became strained when the 
youth refused to study law. Poe left the 

university and went to Boston, where he 
began his literary career, publishing Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827) . The au- 
thor lived briefly in New York, and then traveled to Baltimore in 1831. 

Edgar lived in Baltimore with his aunt, Maria Clemm, and her daughter Vir- 
ginia, and began to publish short fiction in magazines. Poe wrote the story "MS in 
a Bottle" in 1 833, and received first prize in a contest judged by John Pendleton 
Kennedy. In 1835, Kennedy found Poe an editorial position with the Southern 
Literary Messenger. 

Following Poe's marriage, in 1836, to his thirteen-year-old-cousin, Virginia, 
Edgar moved to Richmond. He continued writing for the Messenger, publishing 
essays, poems, stories, and reviews. Over the next twelve years, Poe traveled be- 
tween New York, Philadelphia, and Richmond, producing numerous works of 
gothic fiction. In 1849, Poe began a three-month lecture tour to raise funds for a 
proposed magazine, but then fell ill. Later that year, Poe returned to Baltimore, 
where he died. 

Opposite: Dedication of the Edgar Allan Poe monument in Westminster Cemetery, Baltimore, 1875. 


Baltimore from Federal Hill, 1829. Poe returned this same year and made his home among the 
city's literary lights. 

Maria Clemm moved her 
family to this house on Amity 
Street in 1833; the Poe House 
Museum. Edgar lived here 
with Maria, Virginia, and 
Grandmother Poe, developing 
relationships that sustained 
him for the rest of his life. 
Maria later wrote,"the three 
of us lived for each other." 

While Poe's name is often associated with works of horror, 
he also wrote made-to-order poetry for the albums of 
Baltimore belles. One young woman, Lucy Holmes 
Balderston, received the only known copy of Poe's poem, 
"Alone," which resides in the Manuscripts Department of 
the Maryland Historical Society. This chilling poem invokes 
the dark, gothic style for which Poe is known. 


for phjBwal ptnlwn 

The Saturday Visitor published Poe's 
poetry in 1833. The author won a $50 
prize for his short story "Ms. Found in 
a Bottle" the same year. 

John Pendleton Kennedy 
sponsored the struggling poet and 
helped him secure an editorial 
position in Richmond with the 
Southern Literary Messenger, in 
1835. Kennedy later wrote, "I 
found him in a state of starvation 
[andj gave him clothing, free 
access to my table, and the use of 
a horse for excercise when he 
chose; in fact brought him up 
from the very verge of despair. He 
always remembered me with 

Baltimore's less 
literary figures 
met at the Seven 
Stars Tavern on 
Water Street near 

The Tusculum, home of Portico editor William Gwynn and meeting place of 
the Delphians, Baltimore's elite literary club. Members gathered weekly and 
shared writings, food, and drink in a pseudo-classical atmosphere rich in wit 
and satire. John Pendleton Kennedy, John H. B. Latrobe, Robert Goodloe 
Harper, and Francis Scott Key belonged to the group. Poe modeled his 
fictional Folio Club after the Delphian Club. 


Poe met with journalists and friends at Guy's Monument House Hotel on Calvert 
Street's Monument Square.The hotel occupied this site from 1820 to 1888. Charles 
Dickens also visited this local haunt. 


On October 3, 1849 Poefell 
desperately ill at Gunner's Hall, 
an inn at 44 East Lombard 
Street used as a polling place. 
He died at the Washington 
Medical College four days later. 
The building still stands as the 
Church Home and Hospital on 
Broadway, near Fairmont 
Avenue. Coincidentally, Maria 
Clemm died in the same 
hospital in 1871. 

In 1849, Poe began a three-month lecture tour to raise funds for a proposed magazine, but the 
strain led to a nervous breakdown. He traveled to Richmond, and arrived in Baltimore shortly 
after H. H. Clarke snapped this daguerrotype of the harbor. 

This daguerreotype of 
Poe taken near the 
end of his life 
captures the image of 
the gloom-ridden 
soul now associated 
with the poet's 
memory. His friend 
Annie declared it a 
"caricature" and not 
a very good likeness. 



Maryland Historical Magazine 

Leonard Calvert's ordnance, 1936. In 1824 Jesuit Joseph Carberry and his brother Thomas rescued 
from the St. Mary's River seven cannon presumed to have been carried to Maryland aboard the 
Ark and the Dove. They planted this one as a boundary marker at St. Inigoes three years later. 
(Maryland Historical Society.) 


The Guns of St. Mary s 


Joseph Carberry was no stranger to St. Inigoes Church. As a postulant for 
the Society of Jesus and as a native of St. Mary's County, Maryland, he was 
well aware that the little church to which he had been assigned was the old- 
est and perhaps most historic Catholic mission in English America. He was 
equally aware that the church in which he was destined to serve out his days, 
named for Ignatius Loyola, founder of the order, was also the most ancient Je- 
suit mission in the United States. As he approached the little church on a cold 
winter's day in 1816, he would have been able to smell the familiar brackish 
waters of nearby St. Inigoes Creek and the St. Mary's River, into which the creek 
flowed a little over three miles upriver from the confluence with the Potomac. 
The waters were friendly now, though little more than a year before they had 
served as the avenue for vicious attacks by British raiders bent on securing plun- 
der and booty throughout the county. St. Inigoes Manor and Church and the 
surrounding countryside, had suffered terribly during these raids. Yet it had 
been in many ways little different from the agony the local inhabitants had en- 
dured during many other conflicts visited upon them over the previous 182 
years. 1 

Father Joseph was an industrious and learned young man, full of zeal for his 
mission at St. Inigoes and, as events would prove, much taken with the history 
of the St. Mary's River region in which he had grown up. Here the founding 
fathers of Maryland, led by Governor Leonard Calvert, younger brother of Cecil 
Calvert, Lord Baltimore, had come ashore from the Ark and the Dove in 1634, 
bringing with them the Jesuit priest Father Andrew White and the promise of a 
life free of the religious conflicts that plagued their homeland. They had firmly 
established Baltimore's colony upon the banks of the St. Mary's after negotiat- 
ing with the peaceful Yeocomaco Indians and purchasing the surrounding lands 
from them. In compliance with Baltimore's charter, the Europeans had erected 
a pallisaded fort to protect their infant colony from possible attack. In 1637 a 
second fortification, named Fort St. Inigoes, had been constructed two and a 
half miles downriver from the settlement, on a strategic waterfront promontory 
below the mouth of St. Inigoes Creek. This fort, which was soon garrisoned by a 
small detachment, was erected to command the seaward approach to the village 
and to insure the safety of the harbor by making it secure for ships to ride free 
from all danger of "Hostile and Piratical Invasions." 2 

The author is a maritime historian and a marine archeologist. 



Maryland Historical Magazine 

The probable site of the St. Inigoes Fort on the St. Mary's River, 1936. (Maryland Historical 

Father Joseph was undoubtedly well aware of the travails and hardships 
that had ensued soon after the colony's founding. He was keenly interested in 
the role played by the defenses of the settlement in those stormy events: the first 
Indian scares, the William Claiborne controversy, the "Plundering Time" of 
privateersman Richard Ingle, the Puritan Uprising, Fendall's Rebellion, the 
Susquehannock War, the Revolution of 1689, the Revolution of 1776, and, most 
recently, the War of 18 12, or, as many bitter southern Marylanders called it, Mr. 
Madison's War. Each had wrought havoc and mayhem upon Father Joseph's 
beloved St. Mary's River country. 

Arriving at St. Inigoes on February 26, 1816, Father Joseph was probably 
stunned by the condition in which he found the venerable old brick church, a 
result of both neglect and the British raids of the recent war. If so, he did not 
permit his dismay to linger, for within a year he had begun to restore the build- 
ing. He gave it a new roof, arched the ceiling, and built a new sacristy. He re- 
decorated the hitherto drab interior, and he may have installed the beautiful 
stained glass windows that would survive him by more than a century. He added 

The Guns of St. Mary's 


pews and attended to a thousand and one other details that converted the dilapi- 
dated brick church into a worthy house of God. The priest's labors were unceas- 
ing. Indeed, not until 1 82 1 or 1 822 would he finally complete the restoration effort 
he had begun. 3 

Throughout the long ordeal, Father Joseph was never far from the 
history-steeped river he loved. He had developed a deep antiquarian interest in 
the few extant remnants of old St. Mary's City, Maryland's first but now 
all-but-forgotten capital. Though of little interest to the poor, hard-working 
farmers whose crops now covered the lands upon which the ancient town once 
stood, the remains intrigued Father Joseph. He was particularly absorbed in the 
mystery presented by several weathered pieces of ordnance, which lay partially 
encompassed by mud and earth, rusting away at the water's edge below the 
one-time site of Fort St. Mary's. It was said by some that the pieces were actually 
the same guns that had been brought to Maryland aboard the Ark and the Dove. 
Equally intriguing, he had learned of several more downriver, off Fort Point, in 
waters as deep as twenty feet. These, it was rumored, were once ensconced on 
the very walls of Fort St. Inigoes but had long ago eroded into the St. Mary's 
River along with the fort. Were these the same guns that had been carried aboard 
the Ark and the Dove? Were they indeed the ordnance purchased to protect the 
colonists on their long and dangerous voyage to America from the deadly corsairs 
and the hated Spanish, and from Indian attack and piratical invasion once settled 
in the brave new land? 

Historic accounts lent credence to the story that the two vessels had been 
armed with or had carried great guns such as lay in and about the St. Mary's 
River. The earliest written record of heavy ordnance having been bound for 
Maryland appeared in a lawsuit leveled against Lord Baltimore himself by one 
of the contractors who supplied the expedition. "On May 16, 1634," it was re- 
corded, "a certain Jones sued Baltemore for £309.14s.6d to pay him for 4 tuns of 
canary wine at £29 per tun, 4 sakers, a kind of small cannon weighing 99 cwt 
and 1 qr. at 14 shillings per cwt and 4 demiculverins, larger cannon weighing 
118 cwt at the same price." 4 

That the Ark and the Dove carried substantial ordnance was documented by 
Father Andrew White himself. In his famous Narrative of the turbulent voyage 
to Maryland, the priest had produced for posterity the most detailed record, 
among other things, of the colonists' first landing on Maryland soil at St. 
Clement's Island, upon which they had briefly considered settling. While cut- 
ting wood and building a small pinnace there, Father Andrew wrote, they had 
encountered a body of local natives and had fired cannon from the two ships to 
impress and, undoubtedly, intimidate them. "Our cannon," he noted in the first 
mention of such guns in Maryland, "filled them with astonishment, as indeed 
they were not a little louder than their own twanging bows, and sounded like 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

thunder." Once the colonists had surveyed the four-hundred-acre island, they 
quickly (and wisely) determined that it was not large enough for a settlement. The 
banks of a small nearby river, which they promptly dubbed St. Mary's, were found 
to offer "a very commodious situation for a Towne, in regard that the River affords 
a safe harbour for ships of any burthen, and a very bould shoare." When the Ark 
and the Dove, and the newly constructed pinnace built at St. Clement's, entered 
the river for the first time, the guns were again fired. "The Indians," stated the 
Jesuit's narrative, "much wondered to see such ships, and at the thundering of the 
Ordnance when they came to Anchor." Later, when a storehouse was built ashore, 
and the ships were "unladen, the Governor thought fit to bring the Colours on 
shore, which were attended by all the Gentlemen, and the rest of the servants in 
armes; who received the Colours with a volley of shot, which was answered by the 
Ordnance from the ships." 5 

The fort at St. Mary's had been erected quickly on a small bluff on the north 
side of a little creek, later called Keys Branch. Upon its walls, wrote Father White, 
they mounted "one good piece of ordnance and four murtherers [small swivel 
guns] and have seven pieces of ordnance more ready to mount forthwith." An- 
other account noted that they had mounted upon the walls "some Ordnance 
and furnished it with some murtherers, and such other meanes of defence as 
they thought fit for their safeties." 5 

As time passed the St. Mary's fort gradually fell into disuse. The guns 
mounted on the works were transferred downriver to St. Inigoes Fort, a works 
destined to continue in use for many years. Initially, this little fort was garri- 
soned by barely half a dozen soldiers, a single officer, and a gunner whose duty 
it was to tend to the ordnance there, "making them useful and ready for service." 
To insure that all duties and orders regarding the new colony's trade were ob- 
served, Governor Calvert had ordered that all vessels entering and departing the 
river must come to anchor off the fort for a period of two tides, to be inspected. 
Ammunition for the works was to be supplied by a levy of a half-pound of 
powder, two pounds of shot, and a "considerable portion of match" for every 
burthen ton of a vessel trading in but not owned in the colony. 7 

During times of crisis, such as the Indian scare of 1642, St. Inigoes Manor, 
St. Inigoes Fort, and Cornwaley's Cross Manor were designated as places of ref- 
uge for the women and children of St. Michael's Hundred. The fort also served 
as an occasional meeting place for the colony's assembly and the provincial court. 
Settlers from Newtown and St. Clements Hundreds came here to pay the rents 
for their plantations. Within the tiny fort's walls, Maryland's first gunsmith, 
John Dandy, had set up shop. And here colony "chirurgeon" Henry Hooper car- 
ried on his sometimes bloody trade. 8 

In February 1645, at the onset of one particularly tragic episode in the 
settlement's history, when Royalist fought Parliamentarian, Fort St. Inigoes was 

The Guns of St. Mary's 


The Ark and the Dove carried at least eight or more guns on their voyage to Maryland. Some weapons 
may still lie submerged in the waters of the St. Mary's River. (Watercolor on paper by John Moll, 
Maryland Historical Society.) 

surprised and captured without contest by the Puritan privateersman Captain 
Richard Ingle, commander of the letter-of-marque ship Reformation. St. Mary's 
City fell immediately afterward. Soon thereafter, the Maryland colony was sub- 
jected to a period known forever more as "The Plundering Time," as Puritans 
exercised their rights of conquest on the largely Catholic population. The pil- 
laging and mistreatment of Catholics continued for several months, well after 
Ingle left the colony in April. In the face of this oppressive occupation by Protes- 
tant forces, many Catholics sought to maintain their faith and dignity as they 
always had — that is, until the big guns along the St. Mary's sounded. 9 

It had "been established by custom and usage of catholics who live in Mary- 
land," noted the Jesuit chronicles, 

during the whole night of the 31st of July following the festival of St. 
Ignatius, to honor with a salute of cannon their tutelar guardian and 
patron saint. Therefore, in the year, 1646, mindful of the solemn cus- 
tom, the anniversary of the holy father being ended, they wished the 
night also consecrated to the honor of the same, by the continual 
discharge of artillery. At the same time, there were in the neigh- 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

borhood certain soldiers, unjust plunderers, Englishmen indeed by 
birth, of the heterdox faith, who, coming the year before with a fleet, 
had invaded with arms almost the entire colony had plundered, 
burnt, and finally, having abducted the priests and driven the Gov- 
ernor himself into exile, had reduced it to a miserable servitude. These 
had protection of a certain fortified citadel, built for their own de- 
fence, situated about five miles from the others; but now, aroused by 
the nocturnal report of the cannon, the day after, that is, on the first 
of August, rush upon us with arms, break into the houses of the 
catholics, and plunder whatever there is of arms and powder. 10 

The guns of St. Inigoes had initiated the final devastating phase of humiliation 
that would totally prostrate the Maryland colony. Only after a major counter- 
invasion was mounted by Governor Calvert late in 1646, with support from Vir- 
ginia, did conditions improve. 

It will probably never be known what motivated Father Joseph Carberry to 
undertake, of his own volition and, apparently, at his own expense, the location 
and recovery of the ancient guns lying scattered about the water's edge at St. 
Mary's and sunk off St. Inigoes. Suffice it to say that the inquisitive Jesuit was 
probably driven by a simple need to know and to touch the relics of the history 
and heritage of his forefathers and his faith, to bridge the gap of time itself. The 
moment was propitious. By 1824, when the priest apparently resolved to re- 
cover the guns, the grand project of church restoration was finally behind him, 
and he could afford to indulge, albeit briefly, his curiosity over the guns before 
addressing the endless duties of the calling that lay ahead. That he was equal to 
the project is certain. Father Joseph would soon be elevated to the post of supe- 
rior and procurator of St. Inigoes Parish, a position he would retain until his 

Father Joseph's new project, the first organized effort to recover relics from 
beneath the waters of a Middle Atlantic state specifically because of an interest 
in their historic import, is not well documented. From an archaeological stand- 
point, a recovery attempt such as he would administer was more in the nature 
of simple salvage than archaeology as we know it. Yet his undertaking differed 
sharply from other salvage attempts in that it was fostered by the salvor's curi- 
osity rather than monetary or utilitarian interests in the goods being recovered. 

Despite his zeal, Father Joseph knew that he could not attempt such an en- 
gineering feat on his own. Thus, he sought the aid of his brother, Captain Tho- 
mas Carberry, a former mill owner of Newtown, Maryland, who had moved to 
the young city of Washington prior to the late war and would eventually be- 
come its mayor. Thomas was well suited to the task. He had served as an engineer 
in the 36th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army, during the war, and had been engaged 

The Guns of St. Mary's 


This saker rests on the grounds of Riversdale, the estate of Charles Benedict Calvert, in Riversdale, 
Maryland. It is a virtual duplicate of another saker mounted on the lawn of the Maryland State 
House in Annapolis. (Author's photograph.) 

in actions around the Chesapeake. He had fought at St. Leonard's Creek on June 
26, 1814, where, unlike other members of his unit, he had acquitted himself with 
honor and distinction." 

It is uncertain just what Father Joseph's intentions were once he had recov- 
ered the guns, but it seems, from subsequent events, that his first inclination 
was to assemble them at St. Inigoes Manor until their final disposition might be 
addressed. The guns at St. Mary's proved to be perhaps the easiest of the lot to 
tackle. Two rusting pieces of ordnance had lain exposed and forgotten on the 
shore under the northeast bank of the river, from which they had fallen as the 
shoreline gradually succumbed to erosion. A third piece lay nearby. After hoist- 
ing the guns from their resting place, undoubtedly employing some form of 
block and tackle, Carberry carried them up to St. Mary's Church, near the origi- 
nal site of the second brick colonial statehouse. A number of years after the 
recovery, Father Joseph related to Dr. Randolph Jones, a neighbor, how the guns 
were then transported to St. Inigoes Manor on August 17, 1824, by his brother 
Thomas. "He said he manned two bateaux, they going up to St. Mary's church, 
swung the cannon between the two boats and in this way conveyed them safely to 
St. Inigoes Manor." 12 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

The recovery of the Fort St. Inigoes guns was undoubtedly a more difficult 
matter. The original fortification had been situated on the second point of land 
south of the mouth of St. Inigoes Creek on the east side of the St. Mary's River, a 
promontory known today as Fort Point (the first point being the site of St. Inigoes 
Manor) . Here, the continual erosive onslaught of the sea had, as elsewhere on the 
river, made enormous inroads during the nearly two hundred years following the 
fort's erection. By late August or early September, when Father Joseph and his 
brother apparently commenced their recovery effort, the fort and its battery of 
ten or twelve guns and murtherers had long since been entirely swallowed by the 
waters of the St. Mary's. Many of the guns had been sunk in the sands before being 
covered by the advancing waters and now lay 150-200 yards from shore. A few, 
though immersed in mud and covered by oyster shells, lay in waters that were then 
clear and barely three or four feet deep and were relatively easy to locate and 
recover. Others, which lay in depths as great as twenty feet, were another matter. 13 

How the two Carberrys recovered the guns of Fort St. Inigoes is unknown. 
The shallow-water sites would, of course, have been relatively simple to deal 
with. With either human or animal strength and a block-and-tackle arrange- 
ment ashore or on board a shallow draft boat, the pieces could have been dragged 
out easily. For the deeper sites, the brothers may have employed several 
free-swimming divers deployed from one or more boats to snag and attach block 
and tackle to lift the pieces from the bottom. 

The recovery effort did not go unnoticed by the press. By September 4, the 
popular Niks' Weekly Register of Baltimore was able to report that four guns 
had been successfully raised. Others, possibly as many as eight, said by some to 
have been left resting in the St. Mary's, remained where they lay. Although Father 
Joseph may have intended to return the following year to recover them, the duties 
of the Church deemed otherwise, for on June 3, 1 825, he opened the register of St. 
Inigoes as superior and procurator of the parish and would be bound thereafter to 
his mission. Yet the priest and his brother must have taken great satisfaction in 
their accomplishment, for they had not only reached out to touch history, they 
had recovered it. 14 

But what of the guns themselves? Were they, as Father Joseph emphatically 
stated in 1845 to no less a personage than the Belgian minister to the United 
States, the same ones sent to Maryland aboard the Ark and the Dove? Their 
history was convoluted and obscured by time. 

Several of the pieces proved to be quite utilitarian. On September 3, 1827, 
three years after their recovery from the river, three of the more poorly pre- 
served guns were ceremoniously planted in the earth up to their trunnions as 
boundary markers between St. Inigoes Manor and Cross Manor (at that time 
divided into two farmsteads). The property of Father Joseph, Captain Thomas 
Smith, and one Peter Gough were thus marked and delineated in a most 

The Guns of St. Mary's 


unantiquarian fashion. Two large guns, which had been taken from the St. Mary's 
Church area, were planted, one in a marsh at the head of a small indent on St. 
Inigoes Creek called Dray Cove (now Church Creek or Molls Cove), and the 
second at the head of a cove on the northeast branch of a small waterway called 
Smith Creek. Between these two big guns, one of the smaller ones, which had 
been taken from the water off Fort Point, was planted at a point separating the 
lands of Smith and Gough. The remaining four guns are presumed to have re- 
mained ensconced at St. Inigoes Manor, as they are mentioned in a letter of 
March 10, 1836, written by Father Grivel, S.J., to a colleague in England. 15 

In 1840, Colonel William Coad, a St. Mary's County delegate to the General 
Assembly, well aware of the remaining guns mounted about St. Inigoes, suggested 
to Father Joseph that one of the four be sent to the state capital as a gift to the 
people and the State of Maryland. Apparently urged on in the endeavor by Gov- 
ernor William Grason, the priest acquiesced. In 1841, the first of the St. Mary's 
guns to be removed from the county in more than two hundred years was trans- 
ported to Annapolis and mounted on the statehouse lawn, where it remains to- 
day, pointing defiantly seaward and once again guarding the capital of Mary- 
land. 16 

A little over four years later, on November 6, 1845, Father Joseph parted 
with another of his guns, a virtual twin of the one sent to Annapolis. This time, 
the piece was presented to Charles Benedict Calvert, direct linear descendant of 
the first Lord Baltimore, founder of Maryland, in what appears to have been a 
swap — one of the ancient St. Inigoes guns for a simple carriage. The trade was 
apparently arranged through the auspices of the Belgian ambassador to the 
United States, Messr. Leruy, who had been a personal friend and house guest of 
the cosmopolitan superior of St. Inigoes. "I can assure you," wrote the priest in 
a warm letter to the ambassador, 

that it gives me great pleasure to present, through you, to Mr. Calvert 
one of our old cannon, which was brought over by Lord Baltimore 25 
March 1634. 1 can assure you that I hold it as a venerable relic of an- 
tiquity. And as I shall keep one of them at St. Inigoes — be pleased to 
say to Mr. Calvert that the carriage which he was kind enough to offer 
me for it will be most cordially received. 17 

The gun was soon delivered to Calvert's vast Riversdale estate near 
Bladensburg, Maryland, and eventually mounted on a bed of stone facing the 
nearby Anacostia River. Another of the guns had found a most fitting home. 
Father Joseph would not live to see the remainder of his precious relics removed 
from St. Inigoes, because four years after his trade with Calvert, the good priest 
passed on. Not until 1 885, in fact, would the two remaining guns be carried from 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

the grounds of St. Inigoes. Their new home was to be Georgetown College, now 
University, where they were eventually ensconced, barrels tilted toward the sky. 18 

In 1934 St. Mary's County and the State of Maryland celebrated their tercen- 
tenary anniversary with all the pomp and circumstance suited for such august 
occasions. There was, of course, a brief and spirited renewal of antiquarian inter- 
est in the history of early Maryland and in the few surviving artifacts left behind by 
the founding fathers. Among those artifacts that garnered attention were the guns 
of St. Mary's planted as boundary markers in 1827. In honor of the anniversary, 
two of the pieces were recovered from their obscure burial sites and momentarily 
treated as celebrities. Although heavily pitted and corroded, and with one of the 
pieces lacking part of its muzzle, they were mounted at St. Mary's City in front of 
a reconstructed replica of Maryland's first statehouse, not far from where three 
guns had been recovered from the beach edge in 1 824. Not long after the celebra- 
tion had subsided, however, the St. Mary's region and its historic ordnance once 
more slipped into nearly two decades of obscurity. For all intents and purposes, 
Father Carberry's guns were again all but forgotten. 19 

In early 1958, Dr. Frank L. Howard, of Silver Spring, Maryland, a historian 
with a scholarly interest in the guns, began to track their history in earnest. He 
was determined to discover, among other things, just how many guns had actu- 
ally been found, what type they were, and what their history had been. The 
redoubtable scholar may well have hoped to discover if, indeed, the guns of St. 
Mary's were those carried to Maryland aboard the Ark and the Dove in 1634 as 
Father Joseph had so ardently professed. 

Howard's sleuthing was difficult, for the scarce published information re- 
garding the guns was contradictory, and occasionally inaccurate. One authority 
noted that only five guns, three large and two small ones, had been recovered. 
Another recorded only that several guns had been brought up. But more per- 
plexing, in a few cases their final dispositions remained an enigma. And what of 
the gun or guns not recovered? Did additional ordnance, as suggested by one 
historian, still lie nestled in the silt off Fort Point? 

Howard began to locate and meticulously examine every document, paper, 
and publication that might lend some clue to the origins, history, and disposi- 
tion of the guns. He read and reread the lawsuit of May 1634, which had men- 
tioned the four sakers and four demiculverins, and computed their cumbersome 
burden aboard the two tiny ships that had carried them. He studiously examined 
the Jesuit chronicles of St. Inigoes and St. Mary's, and the archives of the founding 
fathers. He studied the land warrants and military history of St. Mary's. Piece by 
piece, he began to track down the seven guns that Father Joseph and his brother 
had recovered in 1824. A fewwere easy to locate, while others were more difficult. 
When hard data eluded Howard, he used deductive reasoning and queried expert 
consultants. Finally, Howard accounted for all seven guns and the greatest part of 

The Guns of St. Mary's 


their remarkable histories. Then he methodically measured their rusting and scal- 
ing components for comparison with the written and physical record. 20 

In late April 1 958, needing to complete his account of the guns' measurements, 
Howard set out to locate the last piece, which still lay buried as a boundary marker. 
Though the land warrant and the records relating to the gun plantings in 1827 
indicated that the piece had been partially buried at the northernmost head of 
Back Creek (now Smith Creek), the actual location of the last gun remained elu- 
sive, owing to a discrepancy in the early land records upon which he had deduced 
the location, or to a possible unrecorded resurvey of the property between 164 1 
and 1827. But Howard's investigative skills continued to bear fruit. Through in- 
formation provided by Dr. Thomas F. Keliher of Washington, D.C., he learned 
that the two guns donated to the tercentenary celebration in 1934 had been recov- 
ered by a local farmer named John S. Bean. With the assistance of another local 
inhabitant, Frederick S. McCoy, Howard finally tracked down the elderly Bean. 
Howard was elated to learn that the last gun was still planted in the earth — not 
where it was supposed to be according to the records, but on the farmstead of 
Bean's brother Lloyd. A visit to Lloyd Bean's farm revealed the last gun. The piece 
had not been planted at the head of Back Creek as the land warrants stated, but in 
an obscure little cove to the south of it. 

Howard began to analyze all of the ordnance, piece by piece, in an effort to 
compare each with other guns and historical data that might provide conclu- 
sive identification and the date of their manufacture. His analysis was difficult, 
as he had little knowledge of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century ordnance. Yet 
the information he compiled was substantial. His research would stand for more than 
a decade as the basic body of information on the guns of early Maryland. 

The problems of assessing the guns were considerable. The Bean gun remained 
protruding from the earth with only two and a half feet of the muzzle end exposed, 
limiting Howard's ability to evaluate the piece. All of the remaining guns were 
more or less corroded. Moldings were no longer sharp, and outlines had blurred. 
Precise dimensions of the pieces had changed through loss of metal surface area by 
oxidation. The two guns at Georgetown were so badly deteriorated that the exact 
position of their touch holes could not be ascertained. The cascabels of all of the 
guns appeared to have been broken off or corroded to such an extent that data 
assemblage there was impossible. Hence, only where corrosion was obviously small 
did he attempt to take measurements as close as an inch. The muzzle of one of the 
guns at St. Mary's was broken off, and its breech was severely deteriorated. Both of 
the St. Mary's guns that had been recovered from the earth in 1 934 were, in fact, in 
terrible shape. Other than a coat of paint or a layer of tar, no efforts had been 
undertaken to stabilize the rate of decay or to deter the ongoing oxidation that 
was gradually reducing the pair to piles of rusty scales. 

Owing to these limitations, Howard made no attempt to ascertain whether 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

the guns were chambered, that is, whether the bore diameter, which determined 
the caliber of shot, decreased at the breech end. Most of the guns had accumu- 
lated an enormous amount of rust and other debris in their bores, and gather- 
ing data about that portion of the gun was impossible. The ultimate indignity, 
however, was that the guns at Georgetown, tilted heavenward and guarding the 
entrance to the Healy Building, had become trash receptacles. Howard was nev- 
ertheless undeterred. 

Guns of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were classed by name to 
designate type and size. Howard knew that Lord Baltimore had sent at least two 
types of guns, referred to as sakers and demiculverins, to Maryland. It was unclear, 
however, whether they were intended as naval artillery mounted specifically for 
ship defense or carried as cargo ultimately destined for the protection of the colony. 
Were they the same guns that had fired those historic shots at St. Clements Island 
and the salutes on the St. Mary's River, or were they the eight guns mounted on the 
walls of St. Mary's Fort or the ones that had set off the final days of the "plundering 
time"? Were the guns recovered from the river the same ones brought to Maryland 
in 1634, as Father Carberry proclaimed? Identification of the pieces was not sim- 
ply a matter of looking them up in a book. Gun production in the sixteenth through 
the early eighteenth centuries had few standards. Dimensions in a single class var- 
ied enormously. Howard astutely observed that gun founding was an art rather 
than a science, and each founder had individual patterns, which were changed 
from time to time to take advantage of experiments showing the way to superior 
designs or to satisfy the founder's whims. 

Guns were classified according to size and mission, but these varied from 
founder to founder and among nations. English guns were, on occasion, 
subclassified to more precisely reflect their size and strength. For example, there 
were three types of culverins: double-fortified, legitimate, and demiculverins. 
Those of an odd size were designated bastard culverins. Larger families of guns 
were classified as cannons, cannon royals, petreros, and bombards. During the 
sixteenth century there were also basilisks, demicannons, bastard cannons, and 
cannon serpentines. Gun families smaller than culverins included sakers, 
demisakers, minions, falcons, falconets, and rabinets. Small antipersonnel guns 
were referred to as murderers. Compounding the confusion was the fact that many 
sizes and classes of guns occasionally overlapped. 21 

Guns of the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries were basically divided 
into three lengthwise sections separated from each other by bands, or rings, cast 
on the outer surface. The rings were nonfunctional decorative additions to the 
ordnance, evolutionary holdovers from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, 
when guns were manufactured from strips of wrought iron bound together by 
iron bands. These rings conveniently subdivided the gun into the following sec- 
tions: the first reinforce, the section on the breech end; the second reinforce, or 

The Guns of St. Mary's 


The guns deteriorated and corroded after long immersion in the St. Mary's River. (Author's photograph.) 

middle; and the chase, or forward end, which included the muzzle. Some guns 
were chambered near the breech end by increasing the wall thickness in an effort to 
furnish additional strength around the powder charge. Two common chambered 
forms were simple chambered and bell chambered, the former being smooth-sided 
all the way to the breech end, and the second reducing the size abruptly by increas- 
ing the thickness approximately three quarters of the distance behind the muzzle. 22 

The vent, or touch hole, was a small aperture near the end of the bore in the 
breech area. By filling the touch hole with powder and applying either a 
slow-burning wick called a match, a flame, or a hot iron to the primer, the can- 
noneer ignited the powder charge in the cannon. The large end of the piece behind 
the touch hole was termed the breech. To this was often attached a handle, usually 
a ball-shaped feature, and decorative moldings. This area was referred to as the 
cascabel. Immediately in front of the vent was a decorative ring called an astragal. 23 

At the opposite end of the gun was the muzzle, which included the barrel as far 
back as the first ring, or chase astragal. At the business end of the muzzle, various 
decorative rings were molded, providing a bulge known as the bell. Near the middle 
of the gun were attached the trunnions, two cylindrical protuberances on either 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

side of the piece for mounting it in its carriage, and which acted as bearings for its 
elevation. Until the middle of the eighteenth century, the trunnions had been 
mounted below the center line of the bore. Such trunnions, produced prior to 
1756, when they were raised to the center line, were referred to as "old style." 24 

Howard examined the gun then mounted on the back portico of the recon- 
structed statehouse at St. Mary's City and proclaimed it to be a falcon, a di- 
minutive weapon occasionally employed as armament for small ships. After 107 
years of burial in the earth up to its trunnions the piece was fairly well preserved 
on its back end, but the exposed area, which had not been buried, was rapidly 
succumbing to oxidation, with scales of rust sloughing off at the slightest touch. 
With a bore of two and a half inches, he estimated the piece had fired a two- 
pound shot. Compensating for its degeneration, he calculated its original length 
to have been approximately six feet, and its weight at between six hundred and 
eight hundred pounds. A unique feature was the location of the vent at the 
forward end of the powder charge. "It is quite probable," he concluded, "that it 
was armament on the Ark and may have been one of the guns used to impress 
the Indians." 25 

The second gun at St. Mary's, which had also been buried at St. Inigoes 
Manor, was in a far more deteriorated state, with its muzzle end incomplete. 
Though measurements were taken, Howard did not attempt to address its vita. 
The guns at Riversdale and Annapolis, it was discovered, were almost identical. 
Although Howard early on determined that they were sakers, principally based 
upon their bore size of four inches (allowing for a half-inch of lost surface area 
from corrosion), he was careful to note that they were longer and heavier than 
the more commonly known English sakers. Unlike most guns of this type, which 
varied from seven to eight feet in length, both the Riversdale and Annapolis 
guns approached ten feet. In the ratios of their extremely well fortified wall 
thicknesses at the vent, trunnions, and chase, they in fact resembled Spanish 
passovolantes. Sakers, Howard observed, generally weighed between 1,500 and 
1,700 pounds. From the dimensions of the Riversdale and Annapolis guns, he 
calculated their weight at approximately 2,050 pounds each. How, then, he asked 
himself, could these be the same as those noted in the Jones bill against Lord 
Baltimore, which designated their weight at 99 hundredweight, or nearly 2,480 
pounds each? Researching seventeenth-century works pertaining to guns and 
gun foundries, he discovered a possible answer. In 1646, twelve years after the 
settlement at St. Mary's had been established, one William Eldrid published a 
treatise entitled "The Gunner's Glasse" in which he addressed the advantages of 
iron guns over the more popular and expensive brass guns of the period. Com- 
menting on sakers, he stated: "These Brass Sakers [of 1625] weighed between 
1600 and 1700 [pounds] and your Ordnance of the same height of bore do now 
in times of 50 founding weight about 2500." 26 

The Guns of St. Mary's 


Howard rationalized the increased length by noting that a famous saker known 
as the "ringtail saker" of gunfounder Hans Poppenruyter, which was cast in Spain 
in 1 566, was ten times as long as the diameter of the breech (length-to -breech ratio 
being one of the principal diagnostic tools for identification), and hence propor- 
tionately much longer than either the Riversdale or Annapolis pieces, whose ratio 
was 7.6 to 1. As for the considerable wall thicknesses of the Riversdale and An- 
napolis guns, Howard suggested that the founder had used an outside mold in- 
tended for a culverin class of gun, together with a bore mold much smaller than 
usual, producing an exceptionally strong piece. If so, he proposed, it was a design 
innovation destined to be forgotten, for it remained undocumented. 27 

The two Georgetown guns were in despicable shape, their rusting chambers 
filled with rainwater, cigarette butts, and trash. A large crack, the result of accu- 
mulated water freezing inside, had developed in one of the pieces. Howard found 
that these two guns, aside from being slightly longer, were similar to the great 
gun mounted at St. Mary's. Analyzing the bore size and computing the caliber 
of the pieces, he determined them to be nominal four-inch demiculverins or 
bastard culverins originally about nine feet long with a bore length of twenty- 
three or twenty-four calibers, which fired a nine-pound shot. An analysis of the 
exposed portion of the Bean gun indicated that it was probably also of the same 
class. 28 

Howard was not content with having tentatively identified the guns from 
the St. Mary's. Having whetted his appetite, he now intended to locate the re- 
mainder of those that he believed Father Joseph had overlooked and which re- 
mained in the river at the site of eroded Fort St. Inigoes. In mid- July and again 
in September 1958, he set off with a friend and diver, Charles R. Yokely, to search 
the river for signs of the old fort and its long lost guns. Unlike his predecessor, 
however, Howard was not blessed with good fortune, and his efforts ended in 
failure. Yet, his contribution to an expanded view of the history, typology, and 
origins of the guns was not in vain. The Bean gun was soon afterward recovered by 
the St. Mary's County Historical Society and mounted on a brick platform in 
front of the society headquarters at Leonardtown, the county seat. 29 

In 1966 the Maryland General Assembly authorized the formation of the St. 
Mary's City Commission (SMCC) to "preserve, develop, and maintain . . . historic 
St. Mary's City and environs." Three years later, the site of the venerable capital 
was designated a National Historic Landmark. The foundations for one of the 
most significant long-term historic archaeological programs in the state's history 
had been laid, and with it emerged a renewed interest in the guns of the St. Mary's. 30 

By 1970 the painstaking research into the cultural and material history of the 
settlement had begun, and an archaeological program of singular import to the 
history of early Maryland was well underway. The commission, under the chair- 
manship of General Robert E. Hogaboom, USMC (Ret.), soon developed a keen 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

One of Lord Baltimore's cannon is on permanent display at the St. Mary's County Historical Society 
in Leonardtown, Maryland. (Author's photograph.) 

interest in reassembling the guns at St. Mary's. Preliminary efforts were made to 
request that those agencies and other institutions that had possession of the ord- 
nance return them to their rightful home, but with little success. 31 

In mid- 1971, Garry Wheeler Stone, director of archaeology for the SMCC, 
commissioned Harold L. Peterson, an expert in the field of historic ordnance, to 
evaluate the two guns at St. Mary's. Peterson greatly expanded upon Howard's 
pioneering work by conducting a search for comparable guns in such collec- 
tions as the Royal Artillery Institution at Woolwich, England, the Tower of Lon- 
don, the Musee de l'Armee in Paris, and the Tajhusmuseet in Copenhagen. He 
reviewed data on ordnance recovered from identifiable shipwrecks and corre- 
sponded with students of early artillery in the United States and abroad. Peterson 
was able to compare one of the intact St. Mary's gun's highly domed breech and 
almost cylindrical cascabel, which was typical of those of the late sixteenth and 
early seventeenth century, to two English pieces at Woolwich; a minion and 
saker of the period at Plymouth, Massachusetts; two guns cast in 1601 and 1638 in 

The Guns of St. Mary's 


the Tower of London collection; and contemporary Italian works on artillery. 
Though there was some contradiction relating to the subtlety of the moldings 
in the reinforces and the sophistication of the muzzle swell (features hitherto 
associated with the eighteenth century), he was able through assiduous research 
to offer a reasonable answer. "The problem," he noted, ". . . was to see if a speci- 
men of a cannon definitely datable from the early years of the 17th century and 
combining the 'early' and 'late' features of the St. Mary's City guns could be 
found. If not, one faced the problem of deciding if the years of corrosion could 
have altered the cascabel and molding patterns sufficiently to decide which was 
the more altered." 32 Fortunately, a search of existing specimens provided "unas- 
sailable evidence" that the combination of features existed in 1634. By compari- 
son of data with a gun in the Tower of London and with a falcon recovered from 
a Bermuda shipwreck of the period 1595-1600, Peterson proved that the larger 
gun could easily have been produced prior to the founding of the St. Mary's 
settlement. But it was the gun from the shipwreck site that provided the conclu- 
sive data. "On this piece," he wrote, "the breech face, cascabel form, reinforces 
and muzzle shape seems almost identical to those originally on the St. Mary's 
gun as nearly as one can tell after allowances for corrosion and loss are taken 
into account." 33 

Peterson proceeded to reevaluate the specimen by size designation. He found 
it to be somewhat larger in bore and shorter in length than the usual dimen- 
sions of either English or French demiculverins of the time. The bore diameter 
of 4.75 inches, allowing an inch for windage, was the exact size of the specimen. 
When he measured the bore with seventeenth-century gunner's calipers, "it read 
'demi-culverin' almost exacdy." He attributed the 107-inch length, which was 
short for listed demiculverins of the period by between ten and thirteen inches, to 
be a consequence of the inconsistent sizes of the era. Though Howard failed to 
address the smaller, broken gun, Peterson had soon determined its type and pe- 
riod of origin. Most of the characteristics, he discovered, dated no later than the 
late seventeenth century, possibly as late as 1 700 or a few years after. The three-inch 
bore was exactly that of the classic saker described in all of the English ordnance 
manuals. This piece was also checked with seventeenth-century English gunner's 
calipers and read "saker" exactly. On October 14, 1971, Peterson submitted his 
final report and conclusions regarding the two guns. "It is the conclusion of this 
study," he wrote, ". . . that one of the St. Mary's City cannon is a demi-culverin of a 
type that could have come to the colony with the first shipment of cannon. The 
other, of necessity, must have arrived later." 34 

In November 1980, 156 years after the Carberry brothers raised the last of 
the guns to be recovered from the St. Mary's River, the third and last study of the 
guns was completed by Herbert Robinson, chief of interpretation for the Mary- 
land-National Capital Park and Planning Commission of Prince George's County. 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Robinson focused solely on the Riversdale gun. At the conclusion of his report, he, 
too, confirmed that the piece was possibly an artifact of the founding fathers: "I 
feel it safe to refer to this relic gun as one o f the guns that came over on the Ark and 
Dove." 35 

Father Joseph would have been delighted. 


1. See Edwin W. Beitzell, The Jesuit Missions of St. Mary's County, Maryland (Abell, Md.: 
privately printed, 1960), 162-68, for a complete account of the pillage of St. Inigoes by the 
British in the War of 18 12. 

2. Clayton C. Hall, ed., Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1634 (New York: Barnes & Noble, 
1910), 106; William Hand Browne, ed., Archives of Maryland, 72 vols, to date (Baltimore: 
Maryland Historical Society, 1883- ), 1:292-93. 

3. Beitzell, Jesuit Missions, 169. 

4. Bernard C. Steiner," New Light on Maryland History from the British Archives," Maryland 
Historical Magazine, 4 (1909): 251. 

5. E. A. Dalrymple, ed. Narrative of a Voyage to Maryland, Maryland Historical Society 
Fund-Publication no. 7 (Baltimore: John Murphy & Co. for the Maryland Historical Soci- 
ety, 1874), 32, 35, 74, 75; Raphael Semmes, Captains and Mariners of Early Maryland (Balti- 
more: Johns Hopkins Press, 1937), 313. 

6. An additional piece of ordnance and six"murtherers" were supposedly positioned else- 
where about the town's defense palisade in convenient places, but this is probably a variation 
of the first report {Archives of Maryland, 8:267, 277). Henry Miller, D irector of Archaeology at 
St. Mary's City, notes that the site mentioned here is the commonly accepted position of the 
fort, "but we suspect it may be further to the east of this location" (Henry Miller, personal 

7. Archives of Maryland, 1:292-93,3:177. 

8. Ibid. 3: 107-8, 178, 179; 1:209; 4:3 10, 322; 10:95; 41:421; Semmes, Captainsand Mariners, 

9. Beitzell, Jesuit Missions, 15,20. 

10. Dalrymple, Narrative of a Voyage to Maryland, 94-95. The identity of the "certain fortified 
citadel" mentioned in the Jesuit chronicles is uncertain. Henry Miller hypothesized that "the dis- 
tances are not correct, but this could refer to Pope's Fort which we discovered in 1982. It sur- 
rounded Leonard Calvert's original house, later called the Country House. I suspect [Richard] 
Ingle's men helped build it in the spring of 1645." (Henry M. Miller, personal communication.) 

1 1. Regina Combs Hammett, History of St. Mary's County, Maryland (Ridge, Md.: privately 
printed, 1977), 86; Donald G. Shomette, Flotilla: Battle for the Patuxent (Solomons, Md.: 
Calvert Marine Museum Press, 1981), 86, 100. 

12. The Georgetown College Journal, 12 (May 1884), quoted from a letter to the Baltimore Sun 
from a woman who lived near St. Inigoes. Frank L. Howard, "The Guns of St. Mary's," 
Chronicles of St. Mary's, 6 (September 1958): 97. The letter has not been found, although a 
search of the series from November 1883 to June 1884 was made. The date of the recovery 
and its being carried out by Thomas Carberry is attested to in an attachment of a letter from 
Father Joseph to Messr. Leruy, Belgian minister to the United States, on November 6, 1 845 in 

The Guns of St. Mary's 


box 100 1/2, Jesuit Archives, Woodstock, Maryland, in the Georgetown University Library. 
The first official statehouse in Maryland was the Country House of Leonard Calvert. 

13. J. Edwin Coad, of Drayden, Maryland, letter in the Baltimore Sun, 1906 (clipping in St. 
Inigoes Manor Record Book); Dalymple, Narrative of a Voyage to Maryland, 107, provides 
the positional data but lumps the guns from St. Inigoes with those recovered from St. Mary's, 
claiming all seven came from the Fort Point site of the river. See Howard, "Guns of St. 
Mary's," for a complete accounting. Henry M. Miller (in a personal communication) ques- 
tioned whether the guns might not have been intentionally thrown into the river: "This 
seems too deep and far out from the current shore for erosion to account for this." Modern 
measurements indicate that the erosion rate in the Fort Point area is slight to moderate, that 
is, an annual loss of two to four feet. This could easily explain why the fort site might lie well 
off the modern shoreline after more than three hundred years. See Larry G. Ward, Peter S. 
Rosen, William J. Neal, Orrin H. Pilkey, Jr., Orrin H. Pilkey, Sr., Gary Anderson, and Stephen 
J. Howie, Living with the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia's Ocean Shores (Durham, N.C.: Duke 
University Press, 1 989), 131. 

14. Niles' Weekly Register, September 4, 1824. Dalrymple noted that a total of ten to twelve 
guns had been mounted on the walls of Fort St. Inigoes but failed to cite his source. 

15. Undated and unsigned letter attached to the letter from Joseph Carberry to Calvert, 
November 6, 1845. The guns were planted in the presence of Joseph Callaghan, Joseph Carberry, 
Dr. Jones, Thomas Smith, Peter Gough, Ignatius Langley, and Father Tarleton. See Howard, 
"Guns of St. Mary's," 92, 93. The Woodstock Letters (Baltimore: privately printed and circu- 
lated by the Society of Jesus, Maryland Province), vol. 10, no. 3. 

16. Hammett, History of St. Mary's County, 169; Howard, "Guns of St. Mary's," 94; Joseph 
Carberry to Leruy, November 6, 1 845, Georgetown University Library. 

17. Carberry to Leruy, November 6, 1845, op cit. 

18. Howard, "Guns of St. Mary's," 94. Not having access to the Carberry letters, Howard 
incorrectly hypothesized that the Riversdale gun was taken away from St. Inigoes either 
prior to 1827 or about 1840 (ibid., 86, 93). 

19. Ibid., 93. 

20. Ibid., 86-96. 

21. Albert Manucy, Artillery Through the Ages (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing 
Office, 1949), 28, 35; Howard, "Guns of St. Mary's," 87. The word culverin is derived from the 
Latin word colubra, meaning snake (Manucy, 35). 

22. Manucy, Artillery Through the Ages, 39; Howard, "Guns of St. Mary's," 87. 

23. Mauncy, 39. See also John Miller, A Treatise of Artillery (London: printed for John Millan, 
1780), for a description of ordnance design and construction after 1 756. 

24. Howard, "Guns of St. Mary's," 88. 

25. Ibid., 92. 

26. See William Eldrid, "The Gunner's Glasse" (1646), in Charles Ffoulkes, The Gun-Founders 
of England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1937), and Howard, "Guns of St. Mary's," 

27. Howard, "Guns of St. Mary's," 88, 89. Manucy notes that sixteenth-century sakers varied 
even more, weighing 1 ,400 pounds, measuring six feet, eleven inches long, and firing ninety- 
six-pound shot. (Artillery Through the Ages, 35.) 

28. Howard, "Guns of St. Mary's," 89. 

29. Editor's note, in Howard, "Guns of St. Mary's," 94. Howard's hopes of locating the 
remaining St. Inigoes guns were not abandoned. In June 1969, Melvin Jackson of the 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Smithsonian Institution, the St. Mary's City Commission, and St. Mary's College fitted out a 
one-day underwater expedition to evaluate the nature of the river bottom, discover the loca- 
tion of historic ship anchorages, and locate early wharves and piers that served the St. Mary's 
settlement. Although no effort was undertaken to locate the St. Inigoes site or the remaining 
guns, Jackson proposed conducting a magnetometer survey in the area the following year off 
Priest's Point, which he confused with Fort Point. Nothing was done. In 1971 the chairman of 
the St. Mary's City Commission contacted someone at the Milwaukee Public Museum for 
assistance, but the individual turned out to be a sport diver with no archaeological experience. 
The quest for the guns was finally given up. Melvin Jackson, "Report on St. Mary's City 
Underwater Exploration," and Henry M. Miller to Donald Shomette, February 23, 1989, both 
documents are in the possession of the author. 

30. Sr. Mary's City: A Plan for the Preservation and Development of Maryland 's First Capital 
(St. Mary's City Commission, March 1970), iv-v. 

31. Robert E. Hogaboom to Ann M. Ferguson, December 21, 1970, photocopy, in the posses- 
sion of the author. 

32. Harold L.Peterson to Garry Wheeler Stone, October 14, 1971, photocopyin the author's 
possession; Harold L. Peterson, "The Cannon of St. Mary's City," Report to the St. Mary's 
City Commission, October 14, 1971, p. 3. A photocopy is in the possession of the author. 

33. Peterson, "The Cannon of St. Mary's City," 3. 

34. Ibid., 5. 

35. Herb Robinson to John Walton, April 10, 1979 and November 5, 1980, Maryland Na- 
tional Capital Park and Planning Commission, Riverdale; Herb Robinson, "Report on the 
Calvert 'Cannon," Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Riverdale, 
Maryland, November 5, 1980, 6-7. 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

ginning in Virginia in the early 1600s and moving on to Maryland in the 
mid- 1600s. One of the strongest points of the book is the explanation of how 
local ecology strongly affected English settlement and subsequent pressures on 
the Indians to conform to English ways or to leave. Eastern Shore Maryland was 
settled much later because the fur trade lasted longer, and traders both exploited 
and protected Indians to further their business. In addition, the more populous 
Nanticokes were able to play off, to some extent, the English and the Iroquois to 
the north, causing Maryland authorities to give stronger recognition to Indian 
sovereignty in their territory. 

More discussion of culture and culture process would be welcome. One 
wishes Rountree had taken some inferential leaps to give a fuller range of possi- 
bilities to the later history. She rather cautiously posits the choice for the few 
Indians who remained after the 1740s as one between "Anglicization" and re- 
maining "traditional" people. It seems the Indians could also adapt features of 
English culture while retaining many of their own beliefs without disappearing 
as Indian groups — in other words, most likely becoming hidden Indian com- 
munities. Or, when the pressure to become either free black or white was ex- 
treme, the Indians could acculturate toward the free black model and retain 
some Indian identity as well. 

A brief review cannot do justice to this complex book. It is not an easy read 
for the non-specialist, but is extremely worthwhile. Its analysis of what is known 
about Eastern Shore tribes and the questions it raises are important. It should 
serve as a stimulus for further research and, one hopes, substantial archeological 
study of the Indian sites of the Eastern Shore. Our knowledge of ethnohistory is 
such that we can make educated guesses (or ethnohistorical inferences) which can 
lead to new sources and additional knowledge. Eastern Shore Indians opens a door 
for those who may want to deepen research in this challenging and exciting area. 

Stewart Rafert 
University of Delaware 

Gardens and Gardening in the Chesapeake, 1 700-1805. By Barbara Wells Sarudy. 
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. 220 pages. Appendix, notes, 
index. $29.95.) 

We have been told the lure of gardens increases in proportion to the hectic 
pace of modern life, that manipulating the landscape gives us a sense of con- 
trolling some part of our everyday stressful environment. Plant nurseries and 
the gardening sections of our favorite bookstores are prospering. But, in Gar- 
dens and Gardening in the Chesapeake, 1 700-1 805, we discover this current pas- 
sion for gardening to be a reflection, if not a continuation, of the past. Using a 
remarkable variety of primary source material, Barbara Wells Sarudy investi- 

Book Reviews 


Eastern Shore Indians of Virginia and Maryland. By Helen C. Rountree and 
Thomas E. Davidson. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997. 344 
pages. Illustrations, tables, maps, appendices, notes, index. $49.50 cloth, $16.95 

Helen Rountree and Thomas Davidson have taken on a daunting task in 
Eastern Shore Indians. Both authors are well qualified for the task, having writ- 
ten many books and articles on Indians of the Western Shore of the Chesapeake, 
and in Davidson's case, articles on Eastern Shore archaeology and ethnohistory. 
Except for the Gingaskin Indians in Virginia near the tip of what we call the 
Delmarva Peninsula, and the Nanticokes of Delaware, all of the tribes of the 
Eastern Shore had either removed themselves or became submerged in the local 
population by the late eighteenth century. Rountree and Davidson do not dis- 
cuss the Nanticokes after a 1760s boundary survey placed their tribe in Dela- 
ware, a history well documented by the late C. W. Weslager. 

The English, unlike French missionaries and traders in North America, did 
not leave an extensive description of the Indian tribes with whom they dealt. In 
fact, they ignored Indian cultures almost completely. English notions of cul- 
tural superiority led to devaluations of Indian folkways, intense interest in oc- 
cupation of their land, and efforts to dominate, rather than to understand their 
native neighbors. Accordingly, the documentation of Eastern Shore Indians is 
extremely slender, and nearly all of it is filtered through the eyes of the domi- 
nant white society. 

The strength of Rountree and Davidson's book is that they combine a great 
variety of hard-to-find county court and provincial items concerning Indians 
with an extensive discussion of the geography and ecology of the Eastern Shore 
area to give the first book-length description of the local Indian population up 
to the early 1800s. One of the finest aspects of the book is a series of fourteen 
superb maps drafted by Rountree showing ecological zones as well as former 
reservations. The discussion of subsistence activities is buttressed by two lengthy 
appendices listing edible and medicinal wild plants and fish and shellfish. By 
grounding their discussion in food gathering, horticulture, geography, and the 
few known cultural features of the tribes, the authors are able to give a much 
fuller and far more interesting depiction of Indian life than the scarce docu- 
mentation would allow. 

Rountree and Davidson interweave the history of the intrusion of the En- 
glish population into the Eastern Shore with the daily round of Indian life, be- 

Book Reviews 


gates the where, how, who, what, and why of early Chesapeake gardens. Through 
countless archival references, in often irreverent, personal commentary, Sarudy 
paints evocative portraits of real persons. William Faris, to whom Sarudy de- 
votes an entire chapter, is engagingly depicted as "a tired 75-year-old clockmaker, 
with thinning hair . . . who gossiped too much and drank gin too freely" outside 
his garden gate. "But on the other side of the bright gate, the old man blos- 
somed." Faris, we find, was obsessed with tulips, growing as many as 2,339 in 
the spring of 1 804. A crafty businessman, Faris was also showing off his tulips at 
the height of their bloom and then marking a potential client's favorites and 
selling them the bulbs once the plants died back in June. 

Sarudy's text is intended "for a diversity of readers" (xii), an expansion of 
research originally published in the Journal of Garden History. She wrote the 
book because "it was at least as important to study the grounds they designed 
immediately around their homes" (viii), and Sarudy has selected a particular 
time and place for her study in the eighteenth-century Chesapeake region. Be- 
ginning with "Places," Sarudy introduces us in great detail to a rarely glimpsed 
middle-class garden, comparing and contrasting it with the many gardens of 
regional gentry. 

This thesis of place is summed up in the chapter entitled "The Republican 
Garden," wherein "ornament and utility are happily united" (50). Sarudy con- 
tends the recognizable penchant for traditional aesthetics in Chesapeake gar- 
dens, along with a practical inclusion of vegetables and privet hedges, is a well- 
documented tradition. Many of the eighteenth-century gardeners' concerns, 
including soil erosion, variety and availability of foodstuffs, and access through 
recognizable gateways or avenues, were similar to ours today, even to the poten- 
tial destructiveness of large deer populations. This section works especially well 
with the book's unusual form of illustrations. The opportunity to study indi- 
vidual gardens in the Baltimore city area as delineated by Charles Varle in 1797 
and published by Warner and Hanna as a Plan of the City and Environs of Balti- 
more in 1799 and 1801, permits visualization of manuscript descriptions. Av- 
enues of trees, garden beds, and falling terraces, and even bits of architecture 
may be discerned. The Varle illustrations are complemented by other plans and 
drawings provided by the author, reflecting her theme of ornament and utility 
united. The illustrations aesthetically and practically provide information es- 
sential to a better understanding of place in eighteenth-century Maryland. There 
are also almost two-dozen color plates to illuminate the author's theses. 

Social and economic ramifications are addressed in greater detail in a sec- 
tion entitled "Means," where we discover "Gardening for pleasure was no longer 
just the province of a few wealthy planters but increasingly an avocation of the 
expanding class of artisans and merchants, who were amassing capital that they 
could exchange for ornamental luxuries that would proclaim their status to their 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

neighbors" (77). The complexity and diversity of available seeds, plants, and 
garden books are documented in detail. Public and private libraries produced 
informed designs, based on Palladian and Roman precedents. The laborers who 
made these gardens possible occupy a powerful chapter. Sarudy exposes the com- 
mercial reality of this slave-holding region, relating that renting out of slaves 
and servants with special expertise was common (often noted in Ridgely ac- 
counts). Most experienced gardeners were indentured servants from Britain 
before the Revolution, often combining another trade such as dyeing, weaving, 
or shoemaking during winter months. Some were convicts, their lives interwo- 
ven with the slaves, indentured servants, and poor freemen. Sarudy documents 
the chilling fate of most garden laborers who suffered health problems from 
constant exposure, whippings, or wearing a double riveted steel collar as identi- 
fication or punishment. 

Echoing modern commercial gardening ventures, Sarudy records a wide- 
spread importation of exotic plants and seeds, as well as "elegant artificial flow- 
ers and feathers suitable for the Ladies" (66). The earliest of the traveling 
seedsmen in the Chesapeake region, Peter Bellet, called himself a florist and 
advertised his flowers as "rare and curious." He also grafted and inoculated trees 
and designed entire gardens. Eventually, Bellet settled in Williamsburg, Virginia, 
growing over 100,000 fruit trees. His exploits and those of other early nursery- 
men are entertainingly described. William Booth provided the ladies of Balti- 
more with ornamental potted plants for the interiors of their homes, while al- 
lowing them to return them "for care over the winter (for a slight fee), and 
receive them the following spring in 'full perfection'" (73). Gatherings of gar- 
dening enthusiasts are also described, foreshadowing the development of the 
Maryland Agricultural Society and other social and scientific groups where ideas 
as well as specimens could be exchanged. 

"Why?" The question that intrigues us from childhood is one that Sarudy 
investigates through the psychological motivations of garden ornamentation 
and utility in a section described as "Motives." Pleasure, food, and society are 
separately addressed, with complementary illustrations from two cleverly se- 
lected source books. Dover reprints of Old English Cuts and Illustrations, and 
1800 Woodcuts by Thomas Bewick and His School, delineate human inhabitants, 
who appear to be enjoying life's pleasures, occupations, and sustenance as lived 
through a garden. Ironically, however, even the laborers are portrayed as happy 
in these illustrations. 

Chapter 8, "Food," details a greater contemporary interest in fruits, veg- 
etables, herbs, and nuts than is often discussed in current historic site interpre- 
tation. Our good fortune, a wide variety of produce at all seasons, was unknown, 
with retention of one bushel of apples for winter consumption requiring at least 
ten bushels eventually culled down to one. Most people grew their own herbs, 

Book Reviews 


for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Many varieties of grapes, for eating 
fresh, drinking as juice, drying for raisins, as well as producing "Country Wine," 
presaged the successful Chesapeake wine industry. 

Sarudy's chapters on society, inspiration, and expression enlarge our per- 
spective. Asserting in her preface that "Human intellect, intuition, nurture, and 
spirit meld together in a garden" (vii), the author elaborates here on the garden 
as a place for people to gather "to work, to walk, to think, to talk, to play, to love, 
and to celebrate" (103). Chesapeake gardeners showed off their successes, "so 
that all would acknowledge his 'delicate and Just Taste,' which were the result of 
his great 'Invention & Industry, & Expense'" (110). At Hampton, an oversized 
octagonal cupola atop his three-story Georgian "palace in the wilderness" al- 
lowed Charles Ridgely to display the amazing scope of his terraced "falls" to the 
south, and the carefully contrived landscape park, access road, and home farm, 
to the north. Foreign visitors were taken on extensive tours of property and 
recorded glowing descriptions. 

One wishes Sarudy had included even more fascinating tidbits of informa- 
tion; that, for example, Ridgely papers had been more thoroughly examined for 
additional discussion of one of the best-documented gardens in America. How- 
ever, it is already difficult to distinguish some of the sectional divisions, with 
much of the intriguing information melding from chapter to chapter. And, of 
some concern are discernable editing errors. I was surprised by an incorrect 
birth date for Charles Ridgely of Hampton, later referred to mistakenly as Colo- 
nel Ridgely instead of Captain Ridgely. Both of these errors would have been 
easy to catch by reviewing the reference source (the endnote for which also con- 
tains two editing errors). An assertion in a plate caption that the only docu- 
mented part of the Paca garden is the section painted by Charles Willson Peale 
is somewhat misleading, although the author does relate the importance of ar- 
chaeology to this restoration in text found elsewhere in the book. Despite these 
errors, it is essential to make use of Sarudy's endnotes. Some of the most fasci- 
nating nuggets of information reside here, including intriguing references to 
cold spring baths (180). 

But these are essentially minor caveats. The appendix tables play to a diverse 
audience, including plants grown and produce purchased by William Faris, the 
craftsman. This information reflects contemporary taste as well as cost of living 
and most of the varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers listed still are 
mainstays in today's gardens and groceries. Readers less familiar with Chesa- 
peake gardens will relish the book's short postscript, describing regional gar- 
dens with historic integrity that still maybe experienced. In light of recent schol- 
arship, the main body of archival research will fertilize a growing field, to de- 
velop a definitive understanding of a neglected area of historical research. Those 
of us charged with preserving and interpreting the past are indebted to Sarudy 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

for providing a body of primary data that expands our understanding of gar- 
dens as planned personal and cultural environments. Sarudy's book is a valu- 
able addition to garden scholarship, an important reference for landscape his- 
torians and gardening enthusiasts alike. 

Lynne Dakin Hastings 
Hampton National Historic Site 

From Calabar to Carters Grove: The History of a Virginia Slave Community. By 
Lorena S. Walsh. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997. 335 pages. 
Appendices, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95.) 

This book grew out of a long collaboration, nurtured assiduously by Lorena 
Walsh, between archaeologists, preservationists, and historians trying to recon- 
struct slavery at Carter's Grove, Virginia. While Walsh laments the dearth of 
sources that might illuminate the thoughts and social lives of slaves, she never- 
theless ingeniously weaves existing documentary, material, and archaeological 
evidence into a "multigenerational group history" (6). Walsh has squeezed rem- 
nants of demographic information in order to find links among generations of 
Burwell family slaves at and around Carter's Grove. She has also applied the 
growing secondary literature on Virginia slavery to tantalizing shards of mate- 
rial evidence and tidbits of social memory. It is Walsh's explicit intention to 
avoid the pitfalls of most scholarship, which offers either "general and imper- 
sonal" accounts based on data or portraits of individuals that are "rare and prob- 
ably atypical" (226). The collective experience, rather than that of individuals, is 
at the heart of her narrative. 

Although the present reconstructed site at Carter's Grove is frozen at about 
1770, Walsh traces generations of the Burwell slaves from the West Coast of 
Africa to Virginia, from the first small plantations to the creation of dense neigh- 
borhoods, to the American Revolution, and (somewhat more sketchily) into 
westerly migration. There are two branches of Carter's Grove slaves. One, dat- 
ing from earliest times, came from diverse West African origins and settled first 
on estates in nearby York and Gloucester Counties. They became creolized by 
the early 1700s (a Creole is a black slave born in America as opposed to one 
brought from Africa) . A second, more homogenous, branch came from Calabar 
in the 1720s and 1730s to King Carter's plantation. When Carter Burwell inher- 
ited Carter's Grove in 1737, the two branches — Creoles and recently arrived Af- 
ricans — shared living quarters and work routines. By the time of Revolution, 
very few African-born slaves remained at Carter's Grove. 

Walsh admits that drawing the bold contours of the creolization process 
during Carter Burwell's tenure on the plantation, not to mention filling in the 
finer details of material and cultural life, resists even the most meticulous ef- 

Book Reviews 


forts. But certain important findings emerge, some of which bolster other schol- 
arship, and some of which provide new insights into Virginia slaves and plant- 
ers. Among the familiar findings: Carter's Grove and other Burwell farms re- 
tained a relatively small number of slaves, as did many other Tidewater loca- 
tions. Demographic patterns show that, as happened elsewhere, the early years 
were rough before reproduction stabilized in the mid- 1700s. In addition, Walsh 
presents a familiar portrait of indentured servants and slaves who worked to- 
gether before the labor pattern gave way to racial separation. 

Historians following the prickly debate about when, how, and to what ex- 
tent African slaves became creolized will also notice that although Walsh is able 
to refine the histories of some Burwell slaves, she generally agrees with studies 
positing rapid creolization of slaves imported through the early 1700s, a pro- 
cess that continued as new Africans entered the colony. Together with the best 
studies, Walsh insists that creolization was never a smooth process. Some of her 
best analysis of Carter's Grove slaves balances evidence about the raw power of mas- 
ters over slaves with evidence of slaves' cultural autonomy. Walsh peppers her story 
with reflections on emerging "enforced drudgery" in the fields, the Burwells' oppor- 
tunities for "coercion" in naming practices, and the "ever tightening spiral of racism 
and repression" in Virginia (33, 34, 222). Readers also will be pleased that Walsh 
grants roughly equal time to discussing work and cultural adaptation. 

There is another familiar aspect of this study: the admission of a "persistent 
vagueness" in scholars' reconstructions of slave culture. Walsh gives us the best 
possible examination of naming patterns, religion, artifacts, and the demogra- 
phy of birth and family formation. She crafts the material eloquently but ad- 
mits that, unfortunately, some areas must remain vague. Even after giving us 
the widest "contested terrain" of evidence available, we cannot be much clearer 
about how adaptation occurred, how much cultural autonomy existed, and what 
slaves wanted. 

Walsh discovers intriguing twists in the story of Carter's Grove's slaves that 
modify extant views about the Tidewater. For one, slaves in the Carter's Grove 
neighborhood were not sold away to other plantations or divided among heirs 
who might have moved away. Instead, the Burwells entailed slaves to their es- 
tates, which helped to prevent the break-up of families and created a persistent 
and tight-knit community of slaves. Another significant addition to the schol- 
arship involves Carter Burwells "strategies for forcing new Africans to become 
productive workers and reconciling them to bondage" (83). These tactics in- 
cluded encouraging family formation by giving nuclear families their own dwell- 
ings, keeping the size of slave quarters small enough so that one white overseer 
could "'always ... be with the people to keep them to their work'" (85), and 
appointing slave foremen with special privileges to set the work pace and teach 
skills to other slaves. 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Whether corroborating with other scholars or striking new ground, Lorena 
Walsh's contribution is richly textured, and it should help us guide not only 
archaeologists and historians, but academics and general readers, onto the same 

Cathy D. Matson 
University of Delaware 

Cause for Alarm: The Volunteer Fire Department in the Nineteenth-Century City. 
By Amy S. Greenberg. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998. 241 
pages. Appendix, notes, index. $35.00.) 

Sound the alarm today and Baltimore fire trucks barrel out of forty-six 
firehouses and careen forth through seventy or more square miles of city streets. 
But one century and a half ago when Baltimore was less than one-fifth the size 
and population, fire departments were even more important. Twenty to thirty 
engine and hook and ladder companies and volunteer brigades made up of 
young, white males protected the city until a professional department took their 
place in the late 1850s. 

Cause for Alarm studies the firemen in Baltimore, St. Louis, and San Fran- 
cisco. Data about all three is too densely mixed and too intertwined with the 
author's extensive exegesis on masculine culture to learn much about Baltimore 
on a quick read, but the local material is still fascinating. The city's volunteer 
companies mixed the social classes — they were "never working class" (87) — 
included foreign- and native-born, and may have hired African Americans. They 
were also part of the mobs that made up "Mobtown" and indeed were "perhaps 
the most violent in the nation" ( 106). Its companies battled each other, not just 
the fires, and bystanders were in danger of getting caught in the crossfire. Before 
the city government phased out the volunteer companies, alcohol had to be 
banned and firemen had to promise not to imbibe at fires. Young boys had to be 
weeded out from the fraternities of action-prone men who made themselves 
notorious. Maps and attention to the built environment around fire halls would 
have added to the detail about big fires, fire halls, and the firemen's social life 

The historical literature explains the firemen's violence as part of the work- 
ing-class nature of the volunteer companies, but the author insists the compa- 
nies were quite class heterogeneous in the three cities studied. Lawyers to laun- 
dry men, and clerks to cooks and carpenters, flocked into the same volunteer 
companies. Culture and self-perception, Greenberg says, creates class, and with 
lots of data, she is almost, but not quite entirely, convincing on this point of 
heterogeneity. "Almost" because mobility among the strata of blue- and white- 
collar laborers may have been greater than she allows, and one does not see in 

Book Reviews 


these companies many wealthy, powerful elite men. Also, her sources do not 
inform her what kind of firemen were more loyal and active than others. 

The narrow focus of the work leaves one uncertain just how large a role the 
companies played in their members' lives. The author says the role was very 
large, but one simply does not know much about groups of men at neighbor- 
hoods, taverns, street corners, and at work. But the author is right that there was 
a vigorous fraternity of men in the volunteer companies where masculine traits 
were indulged in and celebrated. Men lived in the firehouses, celebrated rituals 
and conducted parades, and won the regard of the citizenry for their heroism 
and sacrifice. Fires and fire halls were the setting of male bravado and displays 
of prowess in an era when fire engines were dragged through city streets by 
human muscle. The public's regard for firemen changed over time. In the 1820s 
they were noble, valiant, and dedicated, by the 1850s disorderly, irresponsible, 
and ineffective. Insurance companies ushered in the professional departments 
which fought fires as much to protect property as lives. All of this is activity that 
needs to be remembered and understood and this work contributes consider- 

Roderick N. Ryon 
Towson University 

The Baltimore Afro -American, 1892-1950. By Hayward Farrar. (Westport, 
Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998. 247 pages. Index. $59.95.) 

Although this book encompasses only two hundred pages of text, it is ency- 
clopedic in scope and provides a well-documented history of the editorial poli- 
cies and politics of the Baltimore Afro- American. The author of this book, Hay- 
ward Farrar, grew up in Baltimore and was a regular reader of the Afro, a 
black-owned weekly based in that city. He believed that the newspaper served as 
a voice for the "concerns and desires of a people who would have been voiceless" 
without it. This work, an expansion of Farrar's doctoral thesis completed under 
the direction of eminent historian John Hope Franklin, demonstrates the way 
in which the Afro led campaigns for freedom and dignity for African-Americans 
locally, nationally, and internationally. 

Farrar examined some of the newspaper's scant archival records as well as 
related manuscripts in the Baltimore Circuit Court and the Library of Con- 
gress, including records of the National Association for the Advancement of 
Colored People and the National Urban League. He also used the papers of 
Booker T. Washington. The author's primary focus, however, was on the news- 
paper itself. He explains in "A Note on Sources" that most of the information in 
the book came from an "examination of every edition of the Afro-American 
from 1892 to 1950." 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

In the introduction and first chapter Farrar provides the reader with a busi- 
ness history of the Afro, its founding in 1892, and its development up to 1950. 
He covers the work of the newspaper s founders, emphasizing the role of John 
Murphy, an Afro employee, who bought the paper for two hundred dollars in 
1897 and led it to unprecedented heights until his death in 1922. The paper, 
which has remained in the hands of Murphy's descendants, continued to pros- 
per even during the Great Depression. 

Although branch offices of the Afro are mentioned from time to time in the 
text, Farrar focuses on the editorial campaigns of the Baltimore newspaper. The 
second through the ninth chapters describe some of the major crusades waged 
by the Afro's editor's and reporters, such as desegregation and civil rights. The 
newspaper's educational campaigns, discussed in chapter two were designed to 
increase educational opportunities for African-American students by arguing 
for better accommodations. The editors also fought for an increased number of 
black teachers, administrators and school board members, academic and voca- 
tional training, and improved access to higher education. The newspaper cov- 
ered social and political activities at Howard University in Washington, D.C. 
and at Fisk University in Nashville, as well as other historically black colleges 
and universities. 

The development of Morgan State University in Baltimore from a denomi- 
national seminary to a college and finally to a state-sponsored institution, was 
closely covered by the Afro, especially when Carl Murphy was on the institution's 
Board of Regents. The newspaper monitored and encouraged the legal battles 
and political maneuverings of the NAACP in its battles for equal school facili- 
ties and school desegregation at all levels including colleges, universities, and 
professional schools. Extensive coverage of the NAACP's successful efforts to 
desegregate the University of Maryland Law School demonstrated the Afro's 
solidarity with that campaign. 

Chapter 3, "Failure, Futility, and Frustration: The Afro-American as a Politi- 
cal Force," relates the newspaper's successful crusades against disenfranchise- 
ment of black Marylanders, the paper's efforts to spur voter registration, and 
their often futile hopes that endorsements of political candidates on the local, 
state, and national levels would result in greater benefits for African-Americans. 
The newspaper set itself up as a watchdog over the racial policies and member- 
ship of the Baltimore City Council and analyzed Maryland state legislation con- 
cerning African Americans. Chapter 4 relates the Afro's efforts to move govern- 
ment and business owners to provide better employment, entrepreneurial, and 
housing opportunities for blacks, while chapter 5 reflects the newspaper's out- 
cries against inequities and abuses in the local and national criminal justice 
systems. Chapter 6 addresses the Afro's efforts to promote "middle class values 
among its readers through moralistic editorials" and "uplifting feature stories." 

Book Reviews 


The author does argue, however, that these moralistic preachments were di- 
luted somewhat by the sensational headlines and gruesome news coverage the 
Afro used regularly to attract and hold its readership. 

The philosophical debates between African-American leaders Booker T. 
Washington, William E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, and the black community's 
attraction to communism are the subjects of chapter 7. This sixteen-page chap- 
ter provides barely enough space for the coverage of such broad topics, but Farrar 
ably shows that the Afro's editorial writers and owners were primarily concerned 
with what, in their opinion, was best for the African -American community. They 
supported aspects of the work of Washington, Dubois, Garvey, and communist 
groups in whichever of their policies called for the economic, social, and politi- 
cal betterment of blacks. Although the newspaper certainly did not agree with 
every aspect of these movements and eventually turned away from Garvey alto- 
gether, its editorials demonstrated a willingness to explore a variety of strategies 
for securing the equality of African Americans. Chapter 8 covers the World Wars, 
chapter 9 follows and encourages the civil rights crusades up to 1950, and the 
epilog provides information about the aggressive editorial leadership by the Afro 
in the civil rights movement during the years beyond 1950. 

Farrar's book provides an excellent synopsis of the Baltimore Afro-American 
as a black-owned business, a community advocate, and a forum for the voice- 
less. Clearly, the Afro has provided a clarion call for justice and equality for Afri- 
can-Americans not only in Baltimore but throughout the United States. Be- 
cause Farrar's topic is so broad — sixty years of editorial analysis — there are ob- 
viously enough topics covered for each chapter to evolve into a complete book. 
Very important developments in the African-American community are discussed 
only briefly because of the extensive scope of this work. Thus the research-hungry 
student will find much fodder for further study in these pages. Each chapter is 
of equal interest although some are more local than national in scope. The au- 
thor maintains his objectivity and attempts to carefully document each state- 
ment he makes. (The chapters average about seventy footnotes each.) In addi- 
tion to being interesting and analytical this work demonstrates that the owners 
and editorial writers maintained a gadfly mentality in order to provoke the 
African-American intelligentsia, as well as the working class, in their relentless 
quest for full citizenship in their state and nation. 

Debra Newman Ham 
Morgan State University 

American Mobbing, 1828-1861: Toward Civil War. By David Grimsted. (New 
York: Oxford University Press, 1998. 392 pages. Notes, index. $65.00.) 

"Violence," the civil rights leader H. Rap Brown once declared, "is as Ameri- 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

can as apple pie." Most twentieth-century Americans would concede the point 
for their times, reserving for the nineteenth century its nostalgic reputation as a 
kinder, gentler age. (As state-sanctioned violence, the Civil War never figures in 
these calculations.) But after reading David Grimsted's exhaustive examination 
of our national proclivity for physical force American Mobbing, 1828-1861: To- 
ward Civil War, no American will be able to exempt our Victorian age — our 
supposed age of gentility and mannerly behavior — from Brown's cynical un- 
derstanding that we are a violent intemperate people. 

In the first of two proposed volumes on nineteenth-century riots, Grimsted 
focuses on those mob actions that are related to slavery, "the nation's deepest 
and most divisive anomaly" (ix). He defines as mobbing "Incidents where six or 
more people band together to enforce their will publicly by threatening or per- 
petuating physical injury to persons extra-legally ostensibly to correct prob- 
lems or injustices within their society without changing its basic structures" 
(xii). Grimsted finesses the popular sociological measures of the spontaneity of 
the crowd, and he is even-handed in his presumption that all riots — the good 
and the bad from John Brown to John Booth, the ones we would support and 
the ones we would decry — deserve inclusion. 

Subjecting 742 riots of his astonishing aggregate of 1,218 for investigation 
as those related to slavery, Grimsted charts a careful map of American mobbing. 
Riots are counted, described, classified, arranged by topic chronologically and 
sectionally, and evaluated for their meaning. From such careful historical re- 
search emerge new understandings not just of the specifics and the often horri- 
fying brutality of these riots, but also of the centrality of five forms of antebel- 
lum mobbing. There are riots against abolitionists and to aid fugitive slaves in 
the North, riots to silence opposition to slavery and to control fantasized insur- 
rections in the South, and finally political riots throughout the nation during 
the Second Party System and the nativist period, the latter familiar to Mary- 
landers as their special heritage. 

Grimsted's reach is wide, and his findings speak to larger issues in our past. 
Along the way some of the signature events of American history are reevaluated. 
For example, seen from the perspective of rioting, the outcome of "Bleeding 
Kansas" had more to do with what Grimsted renames as "Bleeding Majoritarian- 
ism" and the refusal of northerners to be denied what they considered basic 
American values of fair play and free elections as it did national legislation in 
the form of the English bill. And in his analysis of the difference between north- 
ern and southern mobbing, Grimsted provides evidence for the continuing ar- 
gument over the degree of dissimilarity between antebellum northerners and 
southerners. Grimsted convincingly demonstrates that the system of slavery with 
its glorification of mastery and its system of personal violence underwrote mob 
actions in the South that were much less likely to involve any intervention by 

Book Reviews 


legal authorities than those in the North. Southern mobbing was more person- 
alized, less likely to involve property (save to the degree that slaves were prop- 
erty) and more sadistic. 

Grimsted's intention is to show how American mobbing North and South 
led to the Civil War, and such a proposition requires some attention to national 
politics. Here committing the social scientist's error of selecting on the depen- 
dent variable — in common parlance "if you have a hammer everything looks 
like a nail — ," Grimsted stretches too far. Nativists are denied their agency and 
are interpreted as using their anti-immigrant and Catholic positions to hide 
from the divisive issues associated with slavery. Yet on the issue of political 
nativism, Grimsted provides those Marylanders who would point the finger of 
mob violence at the Know-Nothings with a significant corrective. Democrats 
rioted as much as Know-Nothings, only they got to write the reports of the 
violence afterwards and left themselves out of such undemocratic behavior. 

Perhaps it is this latter point writ large that explains why as a nation we have 
known so little about nineteenth-century mobbing. Believers in our exceptional- 
ism, we have written our own history, and we have generally omitted unseemly 
stories of violence. In the future such selective exclusions will be impossible, 
and this is the great contribution of Grimsted's important study. 

Jean H. Baker 
Goucher College 

The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814. By Anthony S. Pitch. 
(Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1998. 304 pages. Maps, photographs, notes, 
bibliography, index. $32.95) 

In this singular but very impressive volume, Anthony S. Pitch presents a 
review of the British invasion of our nation's capitol during the War of 1812 
and the military events that occurred in and around Baltimore. His vast experi- 
ence as a writer and journalist is clearly evident as he masterfully weaves the 
fabric that interlocks historical events surrounding the war with the ever present 
human elements often overlooked by others in the field. Historians record who 
won the war; genealogists record who paid the price. Pitch has combined these 
tenets and added to them his skillful interpretation of primary source docu- 
ments and information uncovered in letters, diaries, and newspapers of the time. 
His attention to detail is prevalent throughout this book. His vivid accounting 
of the events and occurrences before, during, and after the burning of Washing- 
ton makes us feel like we are eyewitnesses to all that transpired. 

The seventeen chapters, plus epilogue, are presented chronologically. From 
the early stages of the war at the Battle of Bladensburg to the burning of Wash- 
ington, from the Battle of North Point to the attack on Fort McHenry in Balti- 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

more, and then finally to the birth of our national anthem, you really think you 
are there. This book is like what Francis Scott Key's associate John Skinner said 
about his newly penned poem after the bombardment of Fort McHenry, which 
was, "it perfectly describes the period of anxiety to all, but never of despair." 
Thus, in a larger sense, the entire war effort was just that way, I do believe, and 
Pitch has masterfully written about it in that fashion in his book. 

In your mind's eye you can visualize the horrid events of the war, but in 
your heart you actually and truly feel sympathy and compassion for the plight 
of the soldiers and citizens under those chaotic circumstances. Many had fought, 
persevered, and won over the British in the Revolutionary War just thirty years 
earlier. Now, like the epic Gone With the Wind that centered on the Civil War 
some fifty years later, Pitch's book is no less dramatic, and equally significant, as 
you are swept along through the trials and tribulations of the times, thankful 
for the victory that followed the war and the rebuilding of a nation, and its 
capitol, once again. 

Such is the value of Mr. Pitch's book. It not only reaches out to readers in 
general, but primarily because it is important to the social and military history 
of Maryland. In that regard, it is a significant contribution to the chronicles of 
American history. I highly recommend it. 

Henry C. Peden, Jr. 

Bel Air 

Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt. By Christine Leigh Heyrman. 
(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997. 352 pages. Notes, 
appendix, index. $16.95 paper.) 

It is an old and familiar image: the Bible-pounding rural evangelist exhort- 
ing rapt listeners to repent or face damnation. In the eighteenth century George 
Whitehead brought his charismatic oratory to the colonies. Following behind 
him, in the revivalism of the Second Great Awakening, Charles Grandison Finney 
burned through western New York, with fire, brimstone, and the "language of 
Canaan." And in the early decades of the twentieth century, the oratory of such 
charismatic speakers as Aimee Semple McPherson moved masses to tears and 
repentance. Yet contrary to this enduring stereotype, the acceptance of evange- 
lism in rural America was by no means rapid or inevitable. 

In fact, in the American South of the late eighteenth century, Christine 
Heyrman finds that the portion of the population that resisted evangelical fer- 
vor was substantial. Evangelical preachers in the pre-Revolutionary years en- 
joyed a chilly welcome in Anglican counties. And in fact, the majority of 
southerners were hostile to evangelicalism until "well into the nineteenth cen- 

Book Reviews 


tury," and it was not until the 1830s that evangelicalism exceeded half of the 
South's white adult population (5). 

Heyrman limns several reasons for the resistance. First, many colonists were 
satisfied with the Church of England and its attendant nod to social hierarchy 
and deference to the elite. Second, many residents were threatened by a wide- 
spread perception that Baptists and Methodists sought to challenge those hier- 
archies by which communities structured their society and households. As re- 
corded in journals, letters, and other first-hand accounts, evangelicals were per- 
ceived as challenging " the deference of youth to age," of children and women to 
fathers and husbands, and of yeoman to elite (26). 

Third, Baptist and Methodist restrictions on recreational activity also drew 
suspicion. By censuring such commonplace activities as drinking, gambling, 
and dancing, evangelicalism removed individuals from the community, and thus 
from the social mainstream. Additionally, many southerners were alarmed by 
the intimacy of evangelical worship, and its apparent lack of reserve, viewing 
conversion and religious enthusiasm as an unmanly loss of honor and "self- 
mastery" (212). 

But Heyrman observes a change in evangelicalism after the Revolution. 
Evangelicals came to realize that their stridency had branded them as odd, and 
began to modify their approaches to the ministry. "As a result," the author notes, 
"evangelicalism looked much different in the 1830s than it had in the 1790s, 
and far different than it had been in the 1760s" (26). This new generation was 
not seeking to upset the status quo: they sought instead to reassure the white 
men that their patriarchal and racial authority would not be challenged; they 
could retain dominance of their households. Most importantly, evangelists now 
muted their condemnation of slavery. Among Baptists, for example, slave hold- 
ers were never decisively barred from church membership. 

The evangelical leaders changed, and with them, the language of Canaan. 
The new generation of preachers upheld the ideals of southern manhood. Their 
rhetoric now addressed the southern "manliness" of the ministry, and stressed 
that real men can embrace the faith without sacrificing their masculinity. This 
new breed, Heyrman observes, used combative, military rhetoric and images, 
and "identified spreading the gospel as a kind of spiritualized form of aggres- 
sion" (234). They were "preacher-hunters," and used images of the hunt in their 
sermons (235). One particularly dramatic example of this new breed of "war- 
rior preacher" was Peter Cartwright, ever-ready to enlist his pugilistic skills as 
well as his oratory to settle a score in the name of righteousness. 

For her documentation, Heyrman draws upon contemporary correspon- 
dence, and the memoirs and journals of evangelical preachers, but also Meth- 
odist, Baptist, and Presbyterian church histories. Most notable is Heyrman's 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

annotated bibliography, an engaging and informed commentary on the schol- 
arship of the early history of evangelicals in the South. 

But Heyrman's compass is much broader than that of a strict religious his- 
torian. Nor, in keeping with much of the research produced in the past twenty- 
five years, is she a consensus historian. In the long-standing debate among his- 
torians of early America regarding the nature of the transition from a rural 
agrarian culture to a post-Revolutionary capitalist society (here over-simplified 
as the "consensus versus conflict" debate), her approach is situated in that of the 
latter. If consensus historians of the South focused on elite leaders, portraying 
the early National period as one of individualism and equal opportunity, so- 
called "conflict" historians have tended to focus instead on the less-exalted classes. 
And their studies of the daily lives of women, African-Americans, and the 
upcountry yeoman farmer have greatly enriched the field of American history 
Heyrman's contribution is to show how these rural Southerners distrusted the 
early changes manifested by changing social relations, such as the erosion of 
domestic authority. 

The author acknowledges that there is little agreement among historians 
about how to characterize the Baptists and the Methodists, particularly as to 
whether they were populist in nature. Challenging such historians as Nathan 
Hatch, Heyrman argues that this evangelicalism was not a democratizing move- 
ment. For that reason, she hesitates to cast early national Baptists or Methodists 
as being any more egalitarian than the wary un-churched. 

Heyrman's text is not for the casual reader browsing the shelves at Borders. 
Nor is it for the seeker of institutional religious history. Instead, Southern Cross 
is a masterly study combining meticulous scholarship, thoughtful argument, 
and informed story-telling. Heyrman brings literary wit and grace to her sub- 
ject, and students and scholars of the early National period and the antebellum 
South will be well-rewarded by this engaging text. 

Donna Blair Shear 
Maryland Historical Society 

Necessary Virtue: The Pragmatic Origins of Religious Liberty in New England. By 
Charles P. Hanson. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1998. 287 
pages. Notes, bibliography, index. $35.) 

Charles P. Hanson's Necessary Virtues: The Pragmatic Origins of Religious 
Liberty in New England represents the second book-length study in recent years 
to examine the shifting attitudes of New Englanders toward the Catholic Church 
during the Revolutionary era. Both Hanson's narrative and Francis D. Cogliano's 
No King, No Popery: Anti- Catholicism in Revolutionary New England (Contribu- 
tions in American History, Number 164. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1995) 

Book Reviews 


question how New Englanders came to modify their long-standing opposition 
to Catholicism in order to accept wartime alliances with Catholic Quebec and 
France, and ask whether this tempered stance led to religious toleration in the 
region. Complementing and expanding upon Cogliano's discussion of the dis- 
tinctions between elite and popular anti-popery and the varied means used by 
the Whig elite to shape public opinion, Hanson considers anti-Catholicism in 
the context of wartime and postwar religious politics in New England. In the 
process, he detects a "deep strain of pragmatism" (4) in the patriots' approach 
to the Catholic Question and in their recasting of Catholicism in terms that 
could square with Revolutionary ideology. While creating room for religious 
toleration, this accommodation to Catholicism also threatened the providen- 
tial narrative of the Revolution and the authority of the Congregationalist Stand- 
ing Order. But these threats proved temporary, leading Hanson to conclude that 
"sheer contingency" (4) played a definitive role in the origins of American reli- 
gious freedom. 

Hanson opens his story of "theological elasticity" (58) with a detailed sketch 
of the 1775 American invasion of Quebec, an unsuccessful venture that has at- 
tracted little scholarly attention. Hanson's amplified account considers reac- 
tions to the invasion from multiple vantage points, including those of the French 
Canadians themselves. A wide range of sources, including correspondence and 
soldiers' diaries, suggest that the traditional rhetoric of religious warfare that 
characterized previous Quebec-New England conflicts was all but replaced by 
discourse that revealed a social and ethnic divide splitting the habitants from 
their priests and the elite. 

The absence of anti-Catholic invective during the invasion leads Hanson to 
double back and examine the public response to the Quebec Act of 1774, in 
which Parliament officially recognized the Catholic church in Quebec. Here he 
finds the first signs of a softening in the American position vis-a-vis Catholi- 
cism: in order to justify the idea of political union with Quebec, the American 
rebels were forced to reinvent their French Canadian enemies as harmless. They 
skirted the issue of religion altogether, representing the Quebecois as pliant and 
educable to the ideals of republican government and further emphasizing their 
small numbers — a population of only 90,000 could be perceived as posing little 
risk to two million Americans. 

Out of this rhetorical maneuvering came a divide within the Revolutionary 
movement itself, pitting enlightenment and religious toleration against religious 
faith and authority. This divide would become more critical as patriots cam- 
paigned to promote its 1778 military alliance with Catholic France, forcing the 
Congregationalist clergy to reconcile the alliance with Protestant values. Sig- 
nificantly complicating this discussion was the British claim on religious tolera- 
tion because of their passage of the Quebec Act even while American Tories 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

disavowed any interest in religious toleration and likened patriots to papists. 
Popular reception of the alliance in New England also depended on overcoming 
preconceived notions of French morality and other cultural differences. In short, 
American support for the alliance in New England, as with the Quebec Act, 
required that a new identity be created for French Catholics. Based on an exten- 
sive survey of New England newspapers and almanacs, Hanson offers a complex 
discussion of the secular arguments used to blunt the menace that the French alli- 
ance seemed to pose. Namely, patriotic propaganda managed to divorce Catholi- 
cism from Frenchness and to redirect anti-Catholic feeling toward the British. 

Because it challenged the traditional Calvinist view, this new image of the 
French and Catholicism produced a flurry of arguments within the Congrega- 
tionalist community over what constituted religious orthodoxy versus heresy, 
with opponents of the alliance charging supporters with religious expediency. 
Ultimately at issue was whether religious toleration was intrinsically progres- 
sive or would endanger religion by producing apathy. The Catholic Question 
maintained its potency into the postwar period as seen in the dispute between 
Congregationalists and Universalists in which each group launched the rhetoric 
of anti-Catholicism at the other in order to assert the vitality of conservative 
Calvinism or the virtues of liberal Protestantism. As Hanson argues, wartime 
propaganda so confused the traditional definitions of Catholicism that it cre- 
ated a "semantic vacuum" (171) in which a diversity of religious opinions could 
circulate. Although he submits that "the impersonation of liberality is after all a 
step toward its establishment" (191), Hanson is careful to point out that anti- 
Catholicism was not eradicated and that religious toleration did not ensue at 
the level of constitutional politics until decades later. Moreover, the French Revo- 
lution revived the religious discourse on Catholicism. Hanson closes with an 
insightful comparison of how three Calvinists — Ezra Stiles, Timothy Dwight, 
and John Leland — reconsidered the Catholic alliances in the postwar years and 
in the process created a "usable past" that spoke to their political affiliations as 
well as their religious values. 

Tackling previously unexamined events in religious and Revolutionary his- 
tory, this slim volume contains an account of considerable complexity and depth 
in which the intertwining of religion and politics is amply illustrated. Meticu- 
lous research clearly undergirds Hanson's work and his findings are elaborated 
in detail — at times to the point of taxing the reader's interest. Similarly, Hanson's 
liberal quotation from primary sources generally animates the narrative but 
more often is excessive, interrupting the flow of the book when paraphrasing 
would have sufficed. In short, a general reading audience may find the book 
slow going. Even specialists in religious or Revolutionary history might be dis- 
appointed that Hanson has chosen to address the link between Catholicism and 
religious liberty solely in the context of New England; the condition of Catholi- 

Book Reviews 


cism in Maryland and Pennsylvania, for example, earns only a passing mention. 
Hampered by this regional scope, Hanson is unable to fully meet his aim of 
presenting more than "a Congregationalist version of Revolutionary history" 
(18). These minor weaknesses aside, Necessary Virtue is a perceptive work that 
has added welcome nuance to our understanding of the origins of religious 
toleration in New England. 

Ann Kirschner 
University of Delaware 


Books in Brief 

An 1890 act of Congress established the Antietam Battlefield Board for the 
purpose of surveying, locating, and preserving the battle lines of the Army of 
the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia. The board also acquired land 
for marking the position of the Union and Confederate commands. In Battle of 
Antietam: The Official History of the Maryland Campaign of 1 862 by the Antietam 
Battlefield Board, authors George R. Large and Joe A. Swisher compiled infor- 
mation on all of the cast iron markers erected by the board. They present this 
information with an overview of the battle. The volume includes battle dia- 
grams and maps showing the locations of the tablets. 

Burd Street Press, $14.95, paper 

Civil War guidebooks line the shelves of local bookstores, libraries, and na- 
tional park gift shops in record numbers. Susan Cooke Soderberg's A Guide to 
Civil War Sites in Maryland: Blue and Gray in a Border State is a comprehensive 
and detailed aid to Maryland's Civil War history. More than 200 sites are identi- 
fied with accompanying maps and directions for walking and driving tours. 
The work includes photographs, an index, and an appendix of more than ninety 
short biographies of Civil War Marylanders. 

White Mane Books, $19.95, paper 

Peter Charles Hoffer explains how law pervaded the everyday lives of colo- 
nial Americans in this revised edition of Law and People in Colonial America. 
First published in 1992, the new volume addresses recent scholarship and offers 
a fresh look at the legal experiences of American Indians, Spaniards, and the 
French as people on the edges of English settlement. Hoffer examines how En- 
glish law dealt with neighboring societies and how the colonists adapted the law 
to fit their changing needs and circumstances. In the midst of a war for inde- 
pendence, American revolutionaries labored to explain how their rebellion could 
be lawful, while legislators wrote republican constitutions that would endure 
for centuries. 

The Johns Hopkins University Press, $14.95, paper 




Maryland Historical Society Book Award 

The MHS will award a $1,000 prize for the best book on Maryland history 
published in 1997 or 1998. Authors and publishers are invited to submit their 
works by June 15, 1999. Entries will be judged by the Publications Committee. 
Please send three copies of the book to the Publications Division, Maryland 
Historical Society, 201 W. Monument Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201. For infor- 
mation call 410-685-3750, x317. 

Publications Contest Announced 

The Southern Association for Women Historians has announced its 1999 
publications prizes: the Julia Cherry Spruill Publication Prize for the best book 
published in southern women's history and the Willie Lee Rose Publication Prize 
for the best book in southern history authored by a woman. The deadline for 
both competitions is April 1 and entries are open to authors who published 
books in 1998. The association is also sponsoring the A. Elizabeth Taylor Prize 
for the best article in southern women's history. The deadline for this judging is 
June 1 , 1 999. For further information, contact Michele Gillespie, Secretary SAWH, 
Department of History, Agnes Scott College, Decatur GA 30030-3797, or call 

Maryland History Day Competition 

Maryland students in grades six through twelve are invited to enter original 
papers, documentaries, exhibits, and dramatic performances in the annual His- 
tory Day competition. This year's theme is "Science, Technology, and Invention 
in History: Impact, Influence, and Change." Dates and locations for the regional 
competitions are: Western Maryland History Day, March 6, Frostburg State 
University and Central Maryland History Day, March 14, University of Balti- 
more. County competitions are scheduled for March 13 in Prince George's 
County and March 19-21 in Calvert County. The state competition, Maryland 
History Day, will be held April 17 at the University of Baltimore, and National 
History Day June 13-17 at the University of Maryland, College Park. For fur- 
ther information contact, Rachel Brubaker, Maryland State Coordinator, Uni- 
versity of Maryland, Baltimore, 410-837-5296. 



Maryland Picture Puzzle 

Challenge your knowledge of western Maryland history by identifying this 
1895 street scene from our collections. Our congratulations to William Hollifield, 
Raymond and Percy Martin, and Sara Stanton Jarrett, who correctly identified 
the Fall Picture Puzzle. The building pictured in a 1910 photograph is Cassell- 
man's Hotel, Grantsville, Garrett County. 

T t 

Index to Volume 93 


1 (Spring): pp. 1-132 

2 (Summer): pp. 133-260 

3 (Fall) pp. 261-388 

4 Winter) pp. 389-530 
Illustrations are indicated by italics. 

A Mythic Land Apart: Reassessing Southerners 
and Their History, edited by John David 
Smith and Thomas H. Appleton Jr., 
reviewed, 121-2 

A Perfect Description of Virginia (broadside), 

Abraham Lincoln, Constitutionalism, and 

Equal Rights During the Civil War Era, 

by Herman Belz, reviewed, 233-6 
Act for the Relief of the Poor (1768). See 

Adams, Herbert Baxter, 80 
Adams, John Quincy, 265, 278, 278-9, 303 
Adams, President John, 191, 194, 265-6 
Adams, Samuel, 194, 197 
"After Chancellorsville: Letters from the 

Heart," Judith A. Bailey and Robert 1. 

Cottom, eds. (book excerpt), 353-65 
Alexander, Grover Cleveland, 89 
Alger, Russell A., 161, 165-7 
Allegany County, Maryland, 348 
Almshouses. See Poorhouses 
"Ambition Rewarded: James McHenry's Entry 

into Maryland Politics," by Karen 

Robbins, 191-214 
American Mobbing, 1828-1861: Toward Civil 

War, by David Grimsted, reviewed, 507- 


American Party. See Know-Nothing Party 
American Revolution, 191, 194-210 passim, 

Amprey, Dr. Walter, 297 
An American Bastille (Howard), 305 
Anacostia River, 484 
Anderson, Patricia Dockman, review by, 


Anglican Church, 55, 392 

Annapolis, Maryland, 51, 203, 210, 488-90 

Anne Arundel County, Maryland, 162, 229; 

creation of poorhouses in, 408, 410-1 
Anson, Melanie D., Olmstead's Sudbrook: The 

Making of a Community, reviewed, 238- 


Antislavery movement. See Slavery 
Appleton, Eben, 302, 306 
Appleton, George Armistead, 305 
Appleton, Georgianna L. R, 302 
Appleton, Thomas H. Jr., and John David 

Smith, eds., A Mythic Land Apart: 

Reassessing Southerners and Their 

History, reviewed, 121-2 
Ark, The (ship), 475; ordnance carried by, 

477-9, 484 
Armistead, Lt. Col. George, 2, 302, 306-7 
Armitage Hundred, 39 
Army of Northern Virginia, 348 
Army of the Potomac, 316, 316 
Arnold, Gen. Benedict, 201-2 
Association of Collegiate Alumnae (ACA), 

77, 79 

Association of the Defenders of Baltimore in 

the War of 1812, The, 304 
Atrucks, Crispus, 291 

Bailey, Judith A., ed., "After Chancellorsville: 
Letters from the Heart" (book excerpt), 

Baker, Jean H.: review by, 507-9; Union 
support in Maryland, studies of, 25; 
views on election riots of, 18 

Balch, Emily, 77 

Balderston, Lucy Holmes, 467 

Baltimore, Maryland, 192, 223, 229, 263, 353, 
356, 466; chart of election margin by 
ward 1845-1860, 21; chart of vote totals 
in, 1845-1860, 19; chart of voter 
turnout in, 1845-1860, 20; contested 
election in (1859), 14-5; daguerreotype 
depiction of harbor of, 473; Defenders' 
Day celebrations in, 300-13; election 
riots in, 11-8, 19-26 passim; expressway 
planning in, 137-8, i42-3 (map); 
expressway proposals of Expressway 
Consultants in, 145-55; expressway 
review in, 144-6; harbor defenses in, 
1898, 163-176; as Know-Nothing 
stronghold, 5; maritime disruption in 
harbor of, 1898, 174-6; as military 
advisor to Baltimore, 191-2; mine 
detonation in harbor of, 175; political 
gangs and clubs in, 15-6, 32n, 36n; 
political patronage in, 9; schools for 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

African-Americans in, 441-63 passim; 
social and economic impact of Beltway 
on, 139—40; social and economic 
relations with German cities, 264, 269, 
271, 273-7; Spanish-American War 
harbor defenses in, 167-76; Spanish- 
American war hysteria in, 161-3; voting 
in rioting wards in (table), 22; ward 
map of (1850), 12-3 
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O), 68-75, 

427-8, 438 
Baltimore, the "Babe," and the Bethlehem 
Steel League, 1918, by Peter T. Dalleo 
and J. Vincent Watchorn III, 88-106 
Baltimore Afro -American, 1892-1950, The,by 

Hayward Farrar, reviewed, 505-7 
Baltimore Clipper (newspaper), 306 
Baltimore County, Maryland, 215; creation 
of poorhouses in, 408, 411; economic 
impact of Beltway on, 138-239; 
Planning Commission of, 138; planta- 
tion life in, 217-8 
Baltimore Customs House, 302 
Baltimore Democrat-American, 22n; anti- 
immigration editorial of, 9 
Baltimore Department of Planning, 137, 144 
Baltimore Department of Public Works, 137, 

Baltimore During the Civil War, by Scott 

Sumpter Sheads and Daniel Carroll 

Toomey, reviewed, 109-10 
Baltimore Exchange, 305 
Baltimore Gazette, 306 
Baltimore Orioles, 91, 94, 98 
Baltimore Republican, 22n 
Baltimore Sun, 22n, 91, 93^4, 97, 142, 158-9, 

172-4, 176, 183,293,434-5 
Baltimore Urban Renewal and Housing 

Agency (BURHA), 137 
Baltimore (warship), 309 
Baltimore Wrecking Company, 173 
"Baltimore's Highway Wars Revisited," by 

Michael P. McCarthy, 136-57 
Banneker, Benjamin: African antecedents of, 

225-6; Baltimore County home of, 215. 

See also "Life of Benjamin Banneker, 

Barrow, Ed, 97 

Bast, C. Homer, "Benjamin Keene, 1694- 
1770: Middling Planter of Dorchester 
County," 38-67 

Battle Monument (Baltimore), 302-4, 303, 

Battle of Baltimore. See Fort McHenry; 
North Point 

Bean, John S., 485 
Bean, Lloyd, 485 

Bedini, Silvio A., "The Life of Benjamin 
Banneker" (book excerpt), 215-30 

Beecher, Catherine, 455-6 

Belz, Herman, Abraham Lincoln, Constitu- 
tionalism, and Equal Rights During the 
Civil War Era, reviewed, 233-6 

Bender, Charles Albert ("Chief"), 90, 96 

"Benjamin Keene, 1694-1770: Middling 
Planter of Dorchester County," by C. 
Homer Bast, 38-67 

Berry, Martha: as teacher of black children, 

Bethlehem Steel Corporation. See also 

Sparrows Point; Steel League: baseball 
leagues organized by, 89, 95, 100 

Billings, Mary: as teacher of African- 
American children, 453 

Bingham, F. Keith, review by, 373-5 

Bishop, Joan: as poverty petitioner, 396, 399 

Black Mosaic (Quarles), 297 

Blackwater River, 42 

Bladensburg, Maryland, 483-4 

Blue Ridge League, 93-4, 104n 

Bodine, A.Audrey, 182-9 

Boiling, Robert, 334-5 

Bonomi, Patricia U., The Lord Cornbury 
Scandal: The Politics of Reputation in 
British America, reviewed, 232-3 

Book excerpts:: Bedini, Silvio A., "The Life of 
Benjamin Banneker" 215-30 (2); Judith 
A. Bailey and Robert I. Cottom, eds., 
"After Chancellorsville: Letters from the 
Heart," 353-65 (3) 

Booz, Charles and Sons, 263 

Boyle, Thomas, 134 

Brady, Matthew, 262 

Breckinridge, John C, 7, 22 

Bremen, Germany, 264; American relations 
with, 267-83, 269. See also Germany 

Breslaw, Elaine G., Tituba, Reluctant Witch of 
Salem: Devilish Indians and Puritan 
Fantasies, reviewed, 369-71 

Brewer, William, 289 

Bridges Over Time: A Technological Context 
for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad 
Main Stem at Harper's Ferry, West 
Virginia, by Michael W. Caplinger, 
reviewed, 366-8 

Brown, John, 294-5 

Brown's Creek, 42 

Bryan, William Jennings, 3 10 

Bryn Mawr College, 77-9, 81-2 84-5; 
entrance exams of, 78 

Index to Volume 93 


Bryn Mawr School: founding of, 76, 78-9, 

85; graduation requirement of, 78-9; 

Johns Hopkins University and, 82-3; 

physical training at, 85; teaching 

qualifications for, 80-4 
Buchanan, President James, 20 
Buck, Charles, 275 
Bureau of Roads (Federal), 145 
Burning of Washington, The: The British 

Invasion of 1814, by Anthony S. Pitch, 

reviewed, 509-10 
Bush, George Herbert Walker, 312 
Byrd, William, 328-30 
Byrn Mawr School: teaching qualifications 

for, 80-4 

Callinder, Robert, 45 

Calloway, Colin G., New Worlds for All: 

Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of 
Early America, reviewed, 122-4 

Calo, Zachary Ryan, "From Poor Relief to 
the Poorhouse: The Response to 
Poverty in Prince George's County, 
Maryland, 1710-1770," 390-425 

Calvert, Gov. Leonard, 474-5, 478, 480 

Calvert, Cecil (Lord Baltimore), 475, 477, 

Calvert, Charles Benedict, 483 

Calvert, Charles (Third Lord Baltimore), 39; 
"Mattapany" residence of, 39 

Calvert County, Maryland, 39, 43 

Cambridge, Maryland, 48, 51 

Camden Station (Baltimore), 69, 75 

Camp Meade, Maryland, 91, 98 

Canton (Baltimore), 141, 263 

Caplinger, Michael W, Bridges Over Time: A 
Technological Context for the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railroad Main Stem at 
Harper's Terry, West Virginia, reviewed, 

Carberry, Father Joseph: donation of historic 
guns to Maryland by, 483; as postulant 
for Society of Jesus, 475; recovery of St. 
Mary's Fort and St. Inigoes Fort guns 
by, 480-4; as restorer of St. Inigoes 
Church, 476-7 

Carberry, Capt. Thomas, 480-2 

Caroline County, Maryland, 185 

Carrington, Elizabeth J., 33 1 

Carroll, Charles, of Carrollton, 197, 202, 210 

Carroll, Charles, the Barrister, 197, 202, 210 

Carroll, Daniel, 202,210 

Carter, William W, 306-7 

Catonsville, Maryland, 138 

Cause for Alarm: The Volunteer Fire Depart- 

ment in the Nineteen th-Century City, by 

Amy S. Greenberg, reviewed, 504-5 
Cecil County, Maryland, 448 
"Certain Style, A: Benjamin Quarles and the 

Scholarship of the Center," by Thomas 

Cripps, 289-99 
Chancellorsville, Battle of, 348, 353 
Character Is Capital: Success Manuals and 

Manhood in Gilded Age America, by 

Judy Hilkey, reviewed, 118-9 
Charles Center (Baltimore), 142-3, 151 
Charles County, Maryland, 43, 392 
Charlottesville Female Academy (Virginia): 

education of black women by, 446-7 
Chase, Samuel, 197-8 
Chasseur (Baltimore clipper), 134-5 
Chesapeake Bay: description of, 215-6 
Chessie Racing (boat), 135 
Chester River, 3 
Chilcote, William L., 147-8 
Choptank River, 38, 50 
Churchman, H. J.: as educator of black 

women, 446, 454 
Cigar Boat. See "Cigar Boat, The: Ross 

Winans's Maritime Wonder" 
"Cigar Boat, The: Ross Winans's Maritime 

Wonder," by Wallace Shugg, 426-40 
Citizen Soldiers at North Point and Fort 

McHenry, The (Young), 308 
Citizens Planning and Housing Association 

(CPHA), 143, 153-4 
City Reform Association (Baltimore), 6 
Claiborne, William, 476 
Clayton, Andrew R. L., and Fredericka J. 

Teute, eds., Contact Points: American 

Frontiers from the Mohawk Valley to the 

Mississippi, 1750-1830, reviewed, 375-6 
Clemm, Maria, 467, 472 
Clinton, William Jefferson, 312 
Coad, Col. William, 483 
Cobb, Tyrus Raymond ("Ty"), 89, 96 
Cochrane, (Adm.) Sir Alexander, 134 
Cold Harbor, Virginia, 321 
Cole, Merle T, "Defending Baltimore 

During the 'Splendid Little War,'" 158- 


Collins, Eddie, 89 

Come Shouting to Zion: African American 
Protestantism in the American South and 
British Caribbean to 1830, by Sylvia R. 
Frey and Betty Wood, reviewed, 371-3 

Commander Hotel (Ocean City), 135 

Committee for Downtown (Baltimore), 142 

Constitution (U.S.), 273 

Contact Points: American Frontiers from the 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Mohawk Valley to the Mississippi, 1750- 
1830, Andrew R. L. Clayton and 
Frederika J. Teute, eds., reviewed, 375-6 

Continental Congress, 193 

Cooper, Anna Julia, 459 

"Cooping" (voter kidnapping), 14-5 

Coppin Fanny Jackson: as educator of black 
youth, 458-9 

Cornwaley's Cross Manor, 478 

Cornwallis, Charles, (Lord), 206-9 

Corps of Engineers, 166-8, 171, 176 

Cottom, Robert I., ed., "After 

Chancellorsville: Letters from the 
Heart" (book excerpt), 353-65 

Courtship, in colonial Chesapeake, 331-7 

Craighill, Col. William P., 167 

cripps, Thomas, "A Certain Style: Benjamin 
Quarles and the Scholarship of the 
Center," 289-99 

Cullen, Countee, 290 

Culture and Comfort: Parlor Making and 
Middle-Class Identity, 1850-1930 , by 
Katherine C. Grier, reviewed, 1 15-8 

Cumberland, Maryland, 72 

D'Alesandro, Thomas J., 154 

Dalleo, Peter T., and J. Vincent Watchorn 
111, "Baltimore, the Babe,' and the 
Bethlehem Steel League, 1918," 88-106 

Dancy, Judge Bonita J., 297 

Darling, Philip, 136; expressway plans of, 
140-150, 153-5; as head of Baltimore 
Department of Planning, 137-8 

Davidson, Thomas E., and Helen C. 
Rountree, Eastern Shore Indians of 
Virginia and Maryland, reviewed, 497- 

Davis, Rep. Henry Winter, 17 

Davison, H. Trubee, 311 

"Death of a Soldier," by Charles A. Earp, 

Debute, Dr. Louis, 195 

Defenders' Day: centennial commission 
formed for, 309. See also "Defenders' 
Day, 1815-1998: A Brief History" 

"Defenders' Day, 1815-1998: A Brief 

History," by Scott S. Sheads and Anna 
von Lunz, 300-15 

"Defending Baltimore During the 'Splendid 
Little War,'" by Merle T. Cole, 158-81 

"Defense of Fort McHenry, The." See "Star- 
Spangled Banner, The" 

Delphian Club, 469 

Democratic Party, 6-7, 9, 18-24 passim 

Dennison, Col. Andrew W, 348 

Dickinson, John, 194 

Dorchester County, Maryland, 39, 40-55 

passim; certificate of land patent in, 44; 

first courthouse in, 49 
Douglass, Frederick, 290, 292-4 
Douglass, Sara, 450 

Dove, The (ship), 475; ordnance carried by, 

477-9, 484 
Draft laws, 93; "Babe" Ruth and, 97; as 

impetus for Steel League, 88-9 
Dulany, Benjamin, 332 
Duncan, Dr. Louis, 173 
Dundalk, Maryland, 138 
Dunn, Jack, 94-5, 98, 104n 
Dunn, Walter G. See "after chancellorsville: 

letters from the heart" 
Durr, Ted, review by, 238-40 
Dyer, Capt. N. Mayo, 309 

Earp, Charles A., "Death of a Soldier," 348- 

Eastern Shore, 3S-9, 51 

Eastern Shore Indians of Virginia and 

Maryland, by Helen C Rountree and 
Thomas E. Davidson, reviewed, 497-98 

Eberhardt, Lynne A., "Passion and Propriety: 
Tidewater Marriages in the Colonial 
Chesapeake," 325-47 

1898: The Birth of the American Century, by 
David Traxel, reviewed, 380-1 

8th Maryland Infantry Regiment, 348 

Elkridge Landing, Maryland, 219, 229 

Emmitsburg, Maryland, 453 

Empowerment zones, 137 

Endicott, William C, 165-6 

Ennals, Henry, 48 

Ernst, Lt. Col. Oswald H., 173 

Essex, Maryland, 138 

Everyday Architecture of the Mid-Atlantic: 
Looking at Buildings and Landscapes, by 
Gabrielle M. Lanier and Bernard L. 
Herman, 1 10-2 

Expressway Consultants, 137, 145-55 

Ezekial, Moses: as sculptor of Poe Monu- 
ment, 472 

Fairy Knowe (Latrobe home), 245 
Farnham, Christie Anne, 447 
Farrar, Hayward, The Baltimore Afro - 

American, 1892-1950, reviewed, 505-7 
Federal Hill (Baltimore), 137, 303, 310, 466 
Fell's Point (Baltimore), 137, 141, 263 
Fendall's Rebellion, 476 
Fewster, Wilson ("Chick"), 90, 93,98 

Index to Volume 93 


5th Maryland Infantry Regiment, 302, 304 

Fillmore, President Millard, 20 

1st Maryland Infantry Regiment, 348 

Fishing Creek, 50, 55 

Fithian, Philip, 33 1-2 

Flag House (Baltimore), 310 

Forbes, John Murray, 279 

Forrest, Col. Uriah, 191, 204, 210 

Fort Carroll, 167, 169, 435; as base for harbor 

mining operations, 173-5; construction 

of, 170 

Fort McHenry, 171, 173-4, 308-9, 433, 438; 
Battle of, 301-3 

Fort McHenry National Monument and 
Shrine, 308, 311-2 

Fort Point, Maryland, 483^ 

Fort St. Inigoes, 475, 476, 477 

Fort St. Mary's, 475, 477 

Fort Washington (New York), 194 

46th Regiment, Maryland Volunteer 
Infantry, 306 

4th Maryland Infantry Regiment, 348 

France, Sen. Jacob, 93 

Francis Scott Key Memorial, 310 

Franklin, Benjamin, 266-7 

Franklin, John Hope, 289 

Frederick County, Maryland: creation of 
(1749), 392-412; creation of poor- 
houses in, 410-1 

Frederick Douglass (Quarks), 290-2 

Freedmen, 448-9, 453 

Freeman, Alice, 80 

Freemasonry, 268 

Frey, Sylvia R., and Betty Wood, Come 
Shouting to Zion: African American 
Protestantism in the American South and 
British Caribbean to 1830, reviewed, 

From Calabar to Carter's Grove: The History 
of a Virginia Slave Community, by 
Lorena S. Walsh, reviewed, 502-4 

From Colonials to Provincials: American 
Thought and Culture, by Ned C. 
Landsman, reviewed, 368-9 

"From poor relief to the poorhouse: the 
Response to poverty in Prince George's 
County, Maryland, 1710-1770," by 
Zachary Ryan Calo, 390-425 

Gardens and Gardening in the Chesapeake, 
1700-1805, by Barbara Wells Sarudy, 
reviewed, 498-502 

Gardner, Alexander, 316-23 

Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the 
War, 317 

Garrett, Mary, 76, 78 

General Assembly (Maryland), 24, 202, 216, 
309, 408, 448; legislation on poor relief 
by, 408-11, 420; proclamation of 
Defenders' Day as holiday by, 309 

Genius of Universal Emancipation, The, 442- 
3, 454-7 

Georgetown College (University), 484-6, 489 
Germantown, Maryland, 318 
Germany: map of, 1801, 264. See also 

Bremen, Germany; Hamburg, Germany 
Gilmor, Col. Harry, 356n 
Goddard, Alice, 80-1, 83 
Grady, J. Harold, 145 
Grant, Ulysses S.: in mobilization for war 

with Spain, 1873, 161; in Wilderness 

Campaign, 348 
Grantham, William, 49 
Grason, Gov. William, 483 
Grasse Comte Francois Joseph Paul de, 207 
Great Beaver Dam (Dorchester County), 43 
Greater Baltimore Committee, 142 
Greenberg, Amy S., Cawse for Alarm: The 

Volunteer Fire Department in the 

Nineteenth-Century City, reviewed, 504- 


Greene, Gen. Nathanael, 201, 204-5 
Greenmount Cemetery (Baltimore), 304 
Grier, Katherine C, Culture and Comfort: 

Parlor Making and Middle-Class Identity, 

1850-1930, reviewed, 1 15-8 
Grimsted, David, American Mobbing, 1828- 

1861: Toward Civil War, reviewed, 507-9 
"Guns of St. Mary's, The," by Donald G. 

Shomette, 474-94 
Guy's Monument House Hotel (Baltimore), 


Gwinn, Mamie, 76, 78, 83 

Gwynn, William: as Portico editor, 469 

Gwynns Falls Park (Baltimore), 144 

Hager House, 187 

Hagerstown, Maryland, 187 

Hains, Col. Peter C, 162, 173-5 

Ham, Debra Newman, review by, 505-7 

Hamburg, Germany, 264; American relations 

with, 267-83, 269, 281-2. See also 

Hamilton, Alexander, 196, 198, 208 
Hampton Roads, Virginia, 172-3 
Hanseatic cities.See Bremen, Germany; 

Hamburg, Germany 
Hanson, Charles P., Necessary Virtue: The 

Pragmatic Origins of Religious Liberty in 

New England, reviewed, 512-15 
Harding, Warren G., 310 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Harper, Robert Goodloe, 469 

Harper's Ferry, Virginia, 71, 438 

Harper's Weekly, 68-75; description of Ross 

Winan's cigar boat by, 427-9 
Harrison, Benjamin, 307 
Harrison, Sarah: in refusal to accept "obey" 

in marriage vows, 337 
Hastings, Lynne Dakin, review by, 498-502 
Hawkins Point, 166-7, 168-9, 170-1 
Headley, Robert K., letter to the editor by, 

243, 384 

Henneberry, Elizabeth: as poverty petitioner, 

Henry, Patrick, 194 

Herman, Bernard L., and Gabrielle M. 

Lanier, Everyday Architecture of the Mid- 
Atlantic: Looking at Building and 
Landscapes, reviewed, 110-2 

Herman, Bruce A., 145, 154 

Heyrman, Christine Leigh, Southern Cross: 
the Beginnings of the Bible Belt, 
reviewed, 510-12 

Hicks, Thomas Holliday, Gov., 5, 7 

Hilkey, Judy, Character Is Capital: Success 
Manuals and Manhood in Gilded Age 
America, reviewed, 1 18-9 

Hogaboom, Gen. Robert E., 490-1 

Hooper Island, 50 

Hopewell, Mary, 39 

Hornsby, Rogers, 90 

Houck, John, 303 

House of Delegates (Maryland), 14 
Howard, Capt. Benjamin C., 306 
Howard, Dr. Frank L.: as historian of St. 

Mary's and St. lnigoe's guns, 484-9 
Howard, Frank Key, 305 
Hulda (ship), 263, Cover (3) 
Hungar River, 40, 42-3 
Hunting Ridge Community Association: 

protests against expressway by, 144-5 
Hutchins, Col. C. T., 163 

Indenture, 220-3 

Ingle, Capt. Richard: as plunderer of St. 

Mary's City colony, 479-80 
"'Intelligence, Though Overlooked': 

Education for Black Women in the 

Upper South, 1800-1840," by Mary 

Carroll Johansen, 441-63 
International League, 91, 93-4, 98 
Interstate Highway Act of 1956, 137-8 
Iron Brigade, 348 
J. E. Greiner Company, 145, 154 
Jackson, "Shoeless" Joe, 89-90, 96 
James, Charles, 53 

Jarvis U. S. General Hospital, 353, 355 
Jefferson, Thomas, 265-6, 443 
Jenifer, Daniel of St. Thomas, 197-8 
Jesuits. See Society of Jesus 
Johansen, Mary Carroll, '"Intelligence, 

Though Overlooked': Education for 

Black Women in the Upper South, 

1800-1840," 441-63 
John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private 

Life, by Paul C. Nagle, reviewed, 107-9 
Johns Hopkins University, The, 82-3, 145 
Johnson, Andrew: protection order of, in 

Snow Riot, 449 
Johnson, Thomas, 197 
Jones, Jennifer, review by, 368-9 
Jones, Pollard and Company, 169-70 
Joppa, Maryland, 228 
Joubert, Father Nicholas: as co-founder, 

Oblates of Providence, 457 

Keene, Benjamin: as acquirer of Dorchester 
County land, 40-5, 41; antecedents of, 
39, 55-6n; birth of, 39-40; children of, 
46-7; estate inventories of, 52-5; family 
arms of, 40; general store operated by, 
52; as justice of the peace, 48-9; 
marriages of, 46-8; as planter, 50-1 

Keene, Benjamin Jr., 46, 48 

Keene, Capewell, 53 

Keene, Capt. John, 39 

Keene, Edward, 39-40, 50 

Keene, Ezekiel, 39, 42, 50 

Keene, Henry, 39, 49-50 

Keene, Henry II, 46-7, 50 

Keene, John, 46 

Keene, Mary Hodgkins, 39 

Keene, Mary Stevens McKeel, 47-8 

Keene, Mary Travers, 46-7 

Keene, Richard, 39, 50 

Keene, Zebulon, 39, 41-2, 50 

Keene's Creek. See Salt Marsh Creek 

Keliher, Dr. Thomas F, 485 

Kelsey, William: as educator of black 
children, 447 

Kennedy, Sen. Anthony, 17 

Kennedy, John Pendleton, 468-9 

Kent Island, Maryland, 186 

Ketchum, Richard M., Saratoga: Turning 
Point of America's Revolutionary War, 
reviewed, 119-21 

Key, Francis Scott, 305, 310, 469 

King, Bessie, 76, 78 

Kirschner, Ann, review by, 512-15 

Kitler, John, 14-5 

Knoerle, Graef, Bender & Associates, 145 

Index to Volume 93 


Know-Nothing Party: anti-immigration 
emphasis of, 6, 8; coercion of voters by, 

14- 5; municipal patronage of, 7, 9; 
participation in election violence by, 

15- 8; voting results of, 18-24 
Konig, Frederick, 271 

Korman, Jeff, and Anne S. K. Turkos, eds., 
Maryland History Bibliography, 1997: A 
Selected list, 246-58 

Korter, Capt. H. L., 173 


Lafayette, Marquis de, 191, 199-200, 202-7, 

Landsman, Ned C, From Colonials to 
Provincials: American Thought and 
Culture, 1680-1760, reviewed, 368-9 

Lange, Elizabeth (Sister Mary): as co- 
founder of school for free black 
children, 451-2 

Lanier, Gabrielle M., and Bernard L. 

Herman, Everyday Architecture of the 
Mid-Atlantic: Looking at Buildings and 
Landscapes, reviewed, 110-2 

Lashley, Issac W.: Civil War correspondence 
of, 348-52 

Latrobe, John H. B., 245, 469 

Lazaretto Lighthouse, 163 

Leading Point Lighthouse, 163 

Leakin Park (Baltimore), 153; Windsor 
Estate addition to, 144 

Lee, Maj. "Light-horse" Harry, 199 

Lee, Thomas Sim, 191, 202-3, 206-7 

Leeke, C: as teacher of black students, 446 

Lee's Miserables: Life in the Army of Northern 
Virginia from the Wilderness to 
Appomattox, by J. Tracy Power, 
reviewed, 377-8 

Leonardtown, Maryland, 490 

Levington, William, 452 

Levy, Erasmus, 14-5 

Lewis, Johanna, review by, 231-2 

Lewis, Samuel: map of Maryland by, 390 

Libby Prison (Richmond), 323 

"Life of Benjamin Banneker, The" by Silvio A. 
Bedini (book excerpt), 215-30 

Lighthouse Board of Maryland, 163 

Ligon, Gov. Thomas, 1 1 

Lincoln, President Abraham, 5, 293, 306 

Lincoln, Gen. Benjamin, 199 

Linthicum, Rep. J. Charles, 310-1 

Linton, Elizabeth: as poverty petitioner, 396, 

Little Choptank River, 50 

Lively, William: as educator of black women, 

442, 445-6, 452, 454-5 

Livingston, Robert, 266 

Lloyd, Edward, 55 

Locke, Mary, 80 

Long Island, Battle of, 194 

Lord Cornbury Scandal, The: The Politics of 
Reputation in British America, by 
Bonomi, Patricia U., reviewed, 232-3 

Louis E. Brown Company, 1 73 

Loyola, Ignatius, 475 

Lundy, Benjamin, 454 

Lux, William, 204 

Mack, Connie, 98 

Magaw, Col. Robert, 194 

Mahan, Alfred Thayer: theories of naval 
warfare of, 160-1 

Mahan, William: as educator, 448 

Majestic Hotel (Ocean City), 135 

Male Public School No. 3 (Baltimore), 470 

Manhattan, Battle of, 194-5 

Marriage, in colonial Chesapeake: effects of 
debt and consumption on, 338-41; 
effects of longevity on, 327-8; virtue as 
requisite for, 336-7 

Marshall, Thomas R.,310 

Martin, Joel W., review by, 122-4 

Maryland, 202-3, 215; 1795 map of, 392; 
Battle of North Point site conveyed to, 
303; black teachers in, 450; eighteenth- 
century handling of poverty by courts 
in, 392-4; eighteenth-century Prince 
George's County as microcosm of, 392; 
eighteenth-century ratio of taxable 
citizens to relief recipients in, 407; as 
Know-Nothing stronghold, 4; political 
alignment in, 1850s, 5-7; as recipient of 
four St. Inigoes guns, 483; Route 40 in 
west of, 189; St. Mary's settlement in, 
475; tercentenary celebration in, 484 

Maryland Brigade, 348 

Maryland Gazette, 47, 221 

Maryland Guard, 23 

Maryland Historical Society, 23n, 307, 311; 
site of, 2 

Maryland History Bibliography, 1997: A 

Selected List, Anne S. K. Turkos and Jeff 
Korman, eds., 246-58 
Maryland Paper Box Corporation, 139-40 
Maryland Pilots Association, 174 
Maryland Society of the Cincinnati, 302 
Maryland State Roads Commission, 141 
Mathewson, Christopher ("Christy"), 89 
Matson, Cathy D., review by, 502—4 
Matthew Brady and the Image of History, by 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Mary Panzer, reviewed, 378-80 
Mayer, Charles, 273 

McCarthy, Michael P., "Baltimore's Highway 

Wars Revisited," 136-57 
McCoy, Frederick S., 485 
McGarvie, Mark D., review by, 233-6 
McGraw, John, 98 

McHenry, James, 190, 210; as aide to 
Lafayette, 199-201; as assistant 
secretary to Washington, 191, 198-200; 
as exception in entrance into high 
political circles, 191; as physician, 191, 
193-6; pre-Revolution background of, 
192-4; as state senator, 210; as supervi- 
sor of Baltimore's Revolutionary War 
efforts, 203-4; as surgeon with Fifth 
Pennsylvania Battalion, 194; "Z" letter 
of, 199 

McKeel, Capt. Thomas, 47 

McKeel, John, 53 

McKinley, President William, 160 

McPhail, Daniel, 17 

McPherson, Christopher: as educator of free 

blacks and slaves, 449 
Mechanics Exchange Fishing Club, 162 
Meekins Neck Road, 50 
Memorial Stadium (Baltimore), 189 
Merchants and Miners Transportation 

Company, 174 
Merchant's Exchange (Baltimore), 276 
Mitchell, Reid, review by, 121-2 
Moadsly, James, 42 
Monument Square (Baltimore), 471 
Moore, Clement Clark, 443 
Morgan, Gen. Daniel, 204 
Morgan State College [University], 292, 295, 

Mount Clare, 304, 428 
Mustafa, Sam A., "The Role of the Hanseatic 

Cities in Early U.S.-German Relations," 


Nagel, Paul C, John Quincy Adams: A Public 

Life, a Private Life, reviewed, 107-9 
Nanticoke, Maryland, 186 
Nanticoke River, 38 

National Association for the Advancement of 
Colored People (NAACP), 290, 292 

National Star-Spangled Banner Centennial 
Commission, 309 

Native Dancer (racehorse), 182 

Nativism, 6 

Necessary Virtue: The Pragmatic Origins of 
Religious Liberty in New England, by 
Charles P. Hanson, reviewed, 512-15 

New Worlds for All: Indians, Europeans, and 
the Remaking of Early America, by Colin 
G. Calloway, 122-4 

Newark Academy (Delaware), 192-3 

Newtown Hundred, 478, 480 

Nicholson, Gov. Francis, 33 1-2 

Niehaus, Charles H., 310 

Niks' Weekly Register, 482 

Nomini Hall (residence), 332-3 

North Point (Baltimore), 167-70, 171-2, 216, 
433; Battle of, 303-9, 311-2 

Notes on the State of Virginia (Jefferson), 443 

Oblates of Providence, 456; as teaching order 

for black women, 450-2, 458 
Ocean City, Maryland, 135, 188, cover (2) 
Odd-Fellows Hall (Baltimore), 470 
Old Defenders' Association, The, 304-6, 307, 


Oliver, Robert, 275 

Olmstead, Frederick Law Jr., 384 

Olmstead, John Charles, 384 

Olmstead's Sudbrook: The Making of a 
Community, by Melanie D. Anson, 
reviewed, 238-40 

Orphaline Charity School (Baltimore), 447 

Orphanages Reconsidered: Childcare Institu- 
tions in Progressive Era Baltimore, by 
Nurith Zmora, reviewed, 236-8 

Osgood, Margarette, 80-1 

Owings, Nathaniel A., 154 

Owings Mills, Maryland, 385 

Oxford, Maryland, 50-1 

Paca, Ned (letter to the editor), 243 

Paca, William, 197, 243 

Pacific Coast League, 94 

Palmer, Alice Freeman, 79 

Panzer, Mary, Matthew Brady and the Image 

of History, reviewed, 378-80 
Parnham, Rube, 94 

Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade & Douglas, 

"Passion and Propriety: Tidewater Marriages 
in the Colonial Chesapeake," by Lynne 
A. Eberhardt, 325-47 

Patapsco River, 167, 173, 183, 216, 219, 228, 
427, 433 

Patterson, Amy, review by, 115-8 

Patterson Park (Baltimore), 310 

Patuxent River, 39 

Pearson, Noah, 42 

Pearson, Sarah, 42 

Peden, Henry C. Jr., review by, 509-510 
Perkins, Capt. E. F., 3 

Index to Volume 93 


Peskin, Lawrence A., review by, 1 19-21 
Petersburg, Battle of: Ninth Army Corps 

field workshop in, 320 
Peterson, Harold L.: as historian of St. 

Mary's and St. Inigoes guns, 491-2 
Phillips, Levin T., 46-7 
Pickering, Timothy, 281 
Pickett's Charge in History and Memory, by 

Carol Reardon, reviewed, 112-5 
Pidgeon, John, 304 
Pierce, Brooke, review by, 369-71 
Pikesville, Maryland, 138, 385 
Pitcairn, Joseph, 279 

Pitch, Antho ny S . , The Burning of Washing- 
ton: The British Invasion of 1814, 
reviewed, 509-510 

Plainfield, New Jersey. See "after 

chancellorsville: letters from the 

Plimhimmon Hotel (Ocean City), 135 

Ploughshares into Swords: Race, Rebellion, and 
Identity in Gabriel's Virginia, 1730-1S10, 
by James Sidbury, reviewed, 373-5 

Pocomoke River, J 87 

Poe, Edgar Allan, 3 In, 464-73 

Poe, Virginia Clemm, 467 

Poe Homes (Baltimore), 148, 153 

Poe House Museum, 467 

Pokempner, Elizabeth, '"Unusual Qualifica- 
tions': Teachers at the Bryn Mawr 
School, 1885-1901," 76-87 

Pollard, Tobias, 49 

Poorhouses, 407-11 419-22 

Port Authority (Baltimore), 142-3 

Portfolios: "B&O Artists' Excursion," 68-75; 
"Details" (Alexander Gardner), 316-23; 
"Edgar Allan Poe's Baltimore," 464-73; 
"Summer in Maryland" (A. Audrey 
Bodine), 182-9 

Potts, Dr. Jonathan, 194 

Poverty. See "From Poor Relief to the 

Poorhouse: The Response to Poverty in 
Prince George's County, Maryland" 

Power, J. Tracy, Lee's Miserables: Life in the 
Army of Northern Virginia from the 
Wilderness to Appomattox, reviewed, 

Pratt, Enoch, 2 

Presbyterianism, 192-4,392 

President's Commission on Race Relations, 

Preston, James H., 301 

Prince George's County, Maryland, 492; 
eighteenth-century compensation to 
caretakers in, 398-9; eighteenth-century 

medical care for the poor in, 395-6; 
eighteenth-century responses to 
poverty in, 390-425; percentage of 
female relief recipients in, 400; 
population of, 1749, 392; ratio of 
taxable citizens to individuals receiving 
poor relief in, 407, 412-5; role of 
churches in poverty relief in, 401-2 
Prout, John, 452 

Prussia: American treaty with, 1786, 266-7 
Purviance, Samuel, 204 

Quakers, 441,453 

Quarles, Benjamin, 288; African-American 
history viewed as dualistic by, 293-4; as 
biographer of Frederick Douglass, 290; 
centrality in personal opinions of, 293, 
296-7; education of, 290, 292; teaching 
methods of, 294-7 

Quarles, Ruth Brett, 291 

Rafert, Stewart, review by, 497-98 
Ralph, Gary, review by, 232-3 
Randall, Aquilla, 302, 306 
Randallstown, Maryland, 385 
Randolph, Anne, 336 
Randolph, Mary Emma. See "After 

Chancellorsville: Letters from the Heart" 
Randolph, Richard, 336 
Rappahannock River: pontoon bridge on, 


Reardon, Carol, Pickett's Charge in History 

and Memory, reviewed, 112-5 
Reed Rifles, 3, Cover (1) 
Reid, Margaret, 297 

Reisterstown Road, 1910 (picture puzzle), 

Rembaugh, Bertha, 81 

Remmel, Klepper & Kahl, 145 

Resolute Beneficial Society: school for blacks 

of, 445, 458 
Retail Merchants Association, 142 
Revolutionary War. See American Revolution 
Rhoads, James E., 78 
Rice, Laura, review by, 378-80 
Richards, Ellen, 79-80 
Richardson, Louisa Holman, 81-3 
Ridgely, Charles, 204 
Ritchie, Gov. Albert, 3 1 1 
Ritzuis, Jacob: casting of sixteen votes in one 

election by, 15 
Rivers, Fred M., review by, 377-8 
Riversdale (Calvert residence), 483, 488-9 
Robbins, Karen, "Ambition Rewarded: James 

McHenry's Entry into Maryland 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Politics," 191-214 
Robinson, Herbert: as historian of St. Mary's 

and St. Inigoes guns, 492 
Robinson, Willam Jr., 49 
Robinson, William, 42 
Robson, John, 49 
Rock Point, 167-8, 216-7 
Rogers, Julia, 76, 78, 83 
Rolling roads, 218 

Roman Catholicism, 392, 453-4; as faith of 

Maryland's founders, 474-5 
Roman Catholics: as victims of plundering 

by Puritans, 479-80 
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 3 1 1 
Ross, Capt. Reuben, 302 
Ross, Gen. Robert, 304 
Roth, Dave, 95 

Roundtree, Helen C, and Thomas E. 
Davidson, Eastern Shore Indians of 
Virginia and Maryland, reviewed, 497- 

Royster, John R., 142 

Rozbicki, Michal J., The Complete Colonial 
Gentleman: Cultural Legitimacy in 
Plantation America, reviewed, 231-2 

Rudolph, Adelaide, 83 

Rules for the Advancement of Marital Felicity, 

Rush, Dr. Benjamin, 193-4 

Ruth, George Herman (Babe), 2, 89, 93, 96- 

7, 99-100, 105-6nn 
Ryon, Roderick N., review by, 504-5 

St. Clement's Hundred, 478 

St. Clement's Island, Maryland, 477, 486 

St. Inigoes, Maryland, 475 

St. Inigoes Church, 475 

St. Inigoes Creek (Church Creek), 475, 483 

St. Inigoes Fort, 475-6, 478; guns transferred 

from St. Mary's Fort to, 478; recovery of 

guns from, 482 
St. Inigoes Manor, 478, 481-3, 488 
St. Mary's Church, 481 

St. Mary's City, Maryland, 488; as first capital 

of Maryland, 477; as National Historic 

Landmark, 490; reconstructed state- 

house at, 484, 488 
St. Mary's City Commission (SMCC), 490 
St. Mary's County, Maryland, 185, 475, 483; 

celebration of tercentenary in, 484; 

creation of poor houses in, 411 
St. Mary's County Historical Society, 490 
St. Mary's Fort, 475, 477; guns transferred to 

St. Inigoes Fort from, 478; location of 

recovered guns at, 48 1 

St. Mary's River, 475-6, 482, 486, 492 

St. Michael's Hundred, 478 

St. Paul's Church (Baltimore), 150 

Salmon, Lucy, 77 

Salt Marsh Creek, 39, 41 

Sanford and Brooks Company, 168 

Saratoga, Battle of, 119-21, 195 

Saratoga: Turning Point of America's Revolu- 
tionary War, by Richard M. Ketchum, 
reviewed, 119-21 

Sarudy, Barbara Wells, Gardens and Garden- 
ing in the Chesapeake, 1700-1805, 
reviewed, 498-502 

Scammel Field, 91, 95, 100 

Schaefer, William Donald, 154 

Schaufele, Alex, 93 

Schoeberlein, Robert W, review by, 109-10 
Schroeder, Olga, 84 
Schwab, Charles, 90, 93, 95 
Scientific American: criticism of Ross 

Winans's cigar boat by, 430, 433-4 
Scott, Gen. Winfield, 20 
Scott, Mary Augusta, 81 
Seven-Foot Knoll Light, 173-4 
Seven Stars Tavern (Baltimore), 468 
7th Maryland Infantry Regiment, 348 
Sharpe, Gov. Horatio, 408-9 
Sheads, Scott S., and Anna Von Lunz, 

"Defenders' Day, 1815-1998: A Brief 

History," 301-15 
Sheads, Scott Sumpter, and Daniel Carroll 

Toomey, Baltimore During the Civil War, 

reviewed, 109-10 
Shear, Donna Blair, review by, 510-12 
"Shelter" leagues. See Steel League 
Shenton, Raymond, 45, 53 
Shomette, Donald G., "The Guns of St. 

Mary's," 474-94 
Shugg, Wallace, "The Cigar Boat: Ross 

Winans's Maritime Wonder," 426-40 
Sidbury, James, Ploughshares into Swords: 

Race, Rebellion, and Identity in Gabriel's 

Virginia, 1730-1810, reviewed, 373-5 
Silbey, Joel, 18 
Sinepuxent Bay, 135 
Sinepuxent Beach Company, 135 
Skidmore Owings & Merrill, 154 
Slaughter Creek, 39, 41, 46, 50 
Slavery, 6, 9, 46-7, 51, 53, 55, 193, 224, 226-7 

443-5, 449, 452, 457, 459 
Smedley Hotel (Baltimore), 306 
Smith, Sen. John W., 3 10 
Smith, Rev. Samuel Stanhope, 443 
Smith, Charlotte, 80 

Smith, John David, and Thomas H. Appleton 

Index to Volume 93 


Jr., eds., A Mythic Land Apart: Reassess- 
ing Southerners and Their History, 
reviewed, 121-2 

Smith, Ryan, review by, 371-3 

Smith Capt. Thomas, 483 

Smith Island, Maryland, 184 

Snow Riot (Washington, D.C.), 449-50 

Society of Jesus, 474-5, 484 

Society of the War of 1812, The. See Old 
Defenders Association 

Somerset County, Maryland, 392 

Southern Association (baseball), 94 

Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible 
Belt, by Christine Leigh Heyrman, 
reviewed, 510-12 

Spanish-American War, 309; Congressional 
approval of, 160; disposition of Spanish 
warships at outbreak of, 159-60; Paris 
peace protocols for, 176 

Sparrows Point (Baltimore), 91-4, 96, 98, 
100; team roster of, 1918, 102 

Speaker, Tristram E. ("Tris"), 96 

Stamp Act, 193 

Staplefort, Raymond, 43, 53 

Stapleforts Creek, 42-3 

"Star-Spangled Banner, The" (anthem), 301, 

Star-Spangled Banner, The (flag): donation 
to Smithsonian Institution of, 302, 307, 
313; Louisa Armistead's bequeathal of, 


Steel League; attendance of, 96; founding of, 
89; locations of teams in, 90; names of 
teams in, 91, 96, 101; professional 
players in, 89-90, 93; standings of teams 
in (table), 101; as subject of cartoons, 
91, 93; termination of, 100 

Stone, Gary Wheeler: as historian of St. 
Mary's and St. Inigoes guns, 491 

Striner, Richard, review by, 107-9 

Stringer, Dr. Samuel, 194 

Study for an East-West Expressway , A 

(Baltimore Department of Planning), 
137, 141 

Sudbrook Park (Baltimore), 384 
Sugar Act, 193 

Swann, Mayor Thomas, 9, 16, 20, 25, 29n, 

Talbot, Marion, 79,81 

Talbot County, Maryland, 407-8; creation of 

poorhouses in, 411 
Tayleur, Clifton W, 304 
Taylors Island, 41, 43, 46, 50 
Taylors Island Road, 50 
Teaching: changing gender roles in, 77 

Test Act of 1673, 192 

Teufel, Frederick, 14-5 

Teute, Fredericka J., and Andrew R. L. 

Clayton, eds., Contact Points: American 
Frontiers from the Mohawk Valley to the 
Mississippi, 1750-1830, reviewed, 375-6 
Texas Association (baseball), 94 
[5th] Regiment, Maryland Infantry, 302 
The Complete Colonial Gentleman: Cultural 
Legitimacy in Plantation America, by 
Michal J. Rozbicki, reviewed, 231-2 
"the role of the hanseatic cities in early 
U.S.— German relations," by Sam A. 
Mustafa, 265-87 
36th Infantry Regiment, U. S. Army, 481 
Thomas, M. Carey, 76, 78, 81, 83-4 
Tilghman, Mathew, 197-8, 202, 210 
Tilghman, Tench, 191, 198, 202-3, 210 
Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem: Devilish 
Indians and Puritan Fantasies, by Elaine 
G. Breslaw, reviewed, 369-71 
Tobacco, 44, 50-1, 217-9, 223, 228, 273, 394- 
5, 405; as dowry in marriage, 329; as 
measure of planters' wealth, 325-6 
Tobacco Inspection Act (1747): effect on 

farmers and the poor of, 4J6 
Tolchester Company, 174-5 
Toomey, Daniel Carroll, and Scott Sumpter 
Sheads, Baltimore During the Civil War, 
reviewed, 109-10 
Towers, Frank, "Violence as a Tool of Party 
Dominance: Election Riots and the 
Baltimore Know-Nothings, 1854-1860," 

Townshend Duties, 193 

Towson, Maryland: as Baltimore County 

seat, 138 
Travers, Elizabeth Chaplin, 46 
Travers, Henry, 45, 48-9, 53 
Travers, Matthew, 48, 51 
Travers, William, 46 
Traxel, David, 1898: The Birth of the 

American Century, reviewed, 380-1 
Tred Avon, 50 

Trimble, William C, review by, 112-5 
Trimper's Merry-go-round, 135 
Trostel, Michael F., review by, 1 10-2 
Tucker, Thomas: as poverty petitioner, 400-1 
Turkos, Anne S. K., and Jeff Korman, eds., 

Maryland History Bibliography, 1997: A 

Selected List, 246-58 
Tusculum, The (residence), 469 
Tyler, John W., 304 

U.S. Lighthouse Service, 173 


Maryland Historical Magazine 

Union Female Society of Baltimore, 456-7 
United States Light Artillery, 304 
'"unusual qualifications': teachers at the 

BRYN MAWR SCHOOL, 1885-1901," by 
Elizabeth Pokempner, 76-87 

Van Osdell, John G., review by, 380-1 
Vermillion, Giles: as poverty petitioner, 399 
"Violence as a Tool of Party Dominance: 

Election Riots and the Baltimore 

Know-Nothings, 1854-1860," by Frank 

Towers, 4-37 
Virginia Gazette, 327-8, 332-3, 343 
Von Kapff & Brune, 269 
Von Lunz, Anna, and Scott S. Sheads, 

"Defenders' Day, 1815-1998: A Brief 

History," 300-15 

Wait, Lucien, 80 

Walker, Thomas, 329 

Wallace, Bethula, 43 

Wallace, Bethula Staplefort, 43 

Wallace, Richard Sr., 43 

Walsh, Lorena S., From Calabar to Carter's 

Grove: The History of a Virginia Slave 

Community, reviewed, 502-4 
War of 1812, 476. See also "Defenders' Day, 

1815-1998: A Brief History" 
Warren, (Adm.) Sir John Borlaise, 134 
Washington, Elizabeth Foote, 338, 344 
Washington, George, 191, 194-6, 198-200, 

202, 205-9,267, 302,311 
Washington Medical College (Baltimore), 


Washington Monument (Baltimore), 4, 427 
Watchorn, Vincent III, and Peter T. Dalleo, 
"Baltimore, the 'Babe,' and the 
Bethlehem Steel League, 1918," 88-106 
Wayne, Gen. "Mad" Anthony, 199, 206 
Weaver, William, 243, 384 
Wells, Daniel, 304 
Welsh, William, 308 
Welsh (Walsh), Molly, 219-24, 226-7 
Wennersten, John R., review by, 375-6 
Werner, Bernard L., 145, 148-51, 155 

Whig Party, 20 

Whitbread Round the World Race, 135 

White, Father Andrew, 475, 477 

Whyte, William Pinckney, 16 

Wichelshausen, Freidrich Jacob, 274, 279 

Wichelshausen, H. D.,271 

Wichelshausen, Hieronymus Daniel, 271 

Wicomico County, Maryland, 186 

Wilbur Smith 8c Associates, 154 

Wilderness Campaign, 348 

Wildwood Improvement Association: 
opposition to expressway by, 144 

Williams, Samuel, 279, 281 

Willoughbey, Edward: as poverty petitioner, 
396, 399 

Wilmer, Gen. L. Allison, 159 

Wilson, Courtney B., review by, 366-8 

Winans, Ross, 426; background and 

education of, 427. See also "Cigar Boat, 
The: Ross Winans's Maritime Wonder" 

Winans, Thomas, 435, 438 

Winans, William L., 434-5 

Winans Cove, 428, 438 

Winter, Thomas, review by, 118-9 

Wood, Betty, and Sylvia R. Frey, Come 
Shouting to Zion: African American 
Protestantism in the American South and 
British Caribbean to 1830, reviewed, 

Woolen, Lettice, 53 

Woolford, Betty, 48-9 

Woolford, Roger, 48-9 

Worcester County, Maryland, 135; creation 
of poorhouses in, 408 

Workhouses. See Poorhouses 

Yeocomaco Indians, 475 
Yokely, Charles R., 489 
Yorktown, Battle of, 207-9 
Young, Denton True ("Cy"), 89 

Zmora, Nurith, Orphanages Reconsidered: 
Childcare Institutions in Progressive Era 
Baltimore, reviewed, 236-8 


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New from the Maryland Historical Society! 


Enterprise and Politics in a Colonial Capital 

By Norman K. Risjord 

In 1700 Maryland's new capital at An- 
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So writes Norman K. Risjord, professor 
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With a clear eye, engaging style, and 
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ISBN 0-938420-61-5 
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Citation & Analysis 
for the Family Historian 

By Elizabeth Shown Mills 

This stunning new work provides the family history researcher with a 
reliable standard for both the correct form of source citation and the 
sound analysis of evidence. 

124 pp., indexed, hardcover. 1997. $16.95 plus $3.50 postage & handling. Maryland resi- 
dents add 5% sales tax; Michigan residents add 6% sales tax. 

VISA & MasterCard orders: 
phone toll-free 1-800-296-6687 or FAX 1-410-752-8492 

1001 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21202 

New from the Maryland Historical Society! 

After Chancellorsville 

Letters from the Heart 

The Civil War Letters of Pvt. Walter G. Dunn and Emma Randolph 

Edited by Judith A. Bailey & Robert I. Cottom 

"I would . . . be the best nurse you ever had, 
I'll bet you. I would laugh and sing and 
read to you and if we both felt like it I could 
cry too, and not half try." 

So wrote Emma Randolph, a young 
woman not yet twenty, to her distant cousin, 
private Walter G. Dunn of the 1 1th New 
Jersey Infantry, after he was carried from 
the smoke and carnage of Chancellorsville 
to a hospital in Baltimore. There, barely re- 
covered, bloodied and dazed with ether, he 
aided overworked surgeons when the 
Gettysburg wounded poured into the city, 
and regularly took up his pen to relay ev- 
eryday events that became history. 

She replied in kind. At home, men were 
torn by guilt, women lost in grief, and a presidential election loomed. But there 
were also church picnics, strawberry festivals, ice cream socials, and trips to the 
ocean. In time they realized their love for one another and planned a life to- 
gether after the war ended. 

This was the American Civil War for many who lived it — overwhelming, 
and ultimately tragic — viewed through the eyes of a courageous youth and an 
unforgettable young woman. 

ISBN 0-938420-62-3 
280 pages, illustrations 

paperback $22.50 (MHS members receive a 35% discount when ordering 
through MHS Publications. Call 410.685.3750 x 317 for information.) 





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In this issue . 

From Poor Relief to the Poorhouse: The Response to Poverty in Prince 
George's County, 1710-1770 
by Zachary Ryan Calo 

The Cigar Boat: Ross Winans's Maritime Wonder 
by Wallace Shugg 

"Intelligence Though Overlooked": Education for Black Women in the 
Upper South, 1800-1840 

by Mary Carroll Johansen 

The Guns of St. Mary's 

by Donald G. Shomett 

Portfolio: Edgar Allan Poe's Baltimore